Would you consider a recommendation of a service/product by someone over the internet to be a ‘word of mouth’ recommendation?
By a real person who is known to me and/or known to be credible, yes. As just another blurb from an anonymous probably-bot, no. Comprehensive video reviews and teardowns on YouTube, both favorable and negative, are VERY helpful.
If I knew the person, yes. Otherwise I see it as an advertisement.
If he has thoroughly tested and reviewed it, it's just that - a qualified review that goes beyond "hey, check this out, it's really cool."
As long as they weren't being paid to recommend it
There would be no way of knowing that