2010 was the year of the “privacy debate“. The beginning of a conversation regarding what it is, what it means and how to protect it. From Wikileaks in the political sphere to Facebook’s all-access to personal data, people have become more and more fearful of who has access to their “private” information.
So, from a branding perspective, what does that mean? In a technological era where data access is the key to providing a unique user experience, how have user’s perceptions of the big Web brands adjusted this past year?
Well, the answer is, not well. Google. Yahoo. Bing. Facebook. MySpace. All suffered losses of positive public perception over the year. The only brand to improve? AOL. But perhaps that’s simply because at the beginning of the year, public perception was that AOL no longer existed….just kidding. Kind of.
Bing went down by the least amount of the major search engines, which makes sense based on all the positive PR they’ve received from their unique search engine enhancements. But it still has to be a bit of a buzzkill that overall, their public perception is a net loss. And despite the brief uptick in perception due to MySpace’s relaunch, they’ve currently fallen even further than where they originally were before it.
As we become more and more aware of the power these companies have over us, is it even possible to keep a positive impression of them over the long term?