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Paradox: Better informed thanks to the Internet, but worried about the impact of fake news

The Digimeter figures show that the consumption of news remains stable in Flanders. Traditional media, such as the national TV and radio stations, continue to reach the largest group of Flemings. The smartphone is still in the top 3, but interestingly enough, daily usage of the smartphone to follow the news is declining, especially among 16-24 year olds. Social media are also declining as a news platform

In general, people in Flanders acknowledge the positive aspects of digital news. For example, a clear majority feel better informed thanks to the Internet, although they are not unaware of the challenges that go with online usage. For instance, the negative impact that fake news has on our society is a broadly shared concern.

But, in general, the urge to be correctly informed is on the increase and in times of (concerns about) fake news, people appear to fall back on the traditional news outlets and carriers, viewing them as a beacon of trust. The role of social media and the smartphone as a gateway to the news remains very high, although weakening somewhat.

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Digital Transformation? It takes two to tango

Biggest conclusion of Digimeter 2018 is that consumers are building a more grown up relationship with their digital partner. It takes two to tango; the consumer expects of you, companies who offer digital solutions, that they are involved as a full-fledged partner in your new digital innovations.

The success of an evolution to an AI and data driven economy are largely dependent on the consumer’s trust in the technology and the companies behind that technology. Digimeter shows that only 10% has no confidence in technology en two thirds of consumers see clear advantages.

More then ever transparency in data use and business models will be a differentiating factor in the digital playing field. We will stay on top of attitudes to AI and data driven products and services, on the one hand through Digimeter and on the other hand through organising user testing in real contexts for next generation digital solutions. This way consumers and companies can explore the advantages of digital technology together.

Is your company working on digital innovation? Do you have an idea, a first prototype or an almost finished product, but are you missing real life feedback of potential end users? Contact Eva Steenberghs.

Eva Steenberghs

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