Though Facebook is the dominant social media platform, consumer satisfaction with the industry giant is low—with users citing concerns over privacy, security, technology, and advertising—whereas satisfaction with nonprofit Wikipedia is more favorable, according to a survey from ForeSee Results for the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
Wikipedia also generates consumer activity: 10% of Wikipedia users have purchased products of services that were recommended on the website—an impressive number for a site that actively polices and prevents blatant marketing efforts.
Still, with some 500 million users worldwide, Facebook represents a huge commercial opportunity: 16% of Facebook users have sought recommendations for products and services on the site and 12% have purchased products that were recommended.
Below, other findings from the 2010 Annual E-Business Report for the ACSI, which ranked customer satisfaction across e-business categories, including social media, search, and news portals.
Low Social Media Consumer Satisfaction
In 2010, social media websites joined the list of 40 e-business industries and companies measured by the ACSI. Social media received an industry average score of 70 (out of 100)—debuting as one of the lowest-scoring industries measured by the ACSI, surpassing only the notoriously low-scoring airline (66) and cable/satellite TV (66) industries.
Among the four social sites with the highest traffic and market share, Wikipedia ranked first in customer satisfaction (77), followed by YouTube (73).
Facebook (64) and MySpace (63) were ranked nearly evenly.
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- Older people are less satisfied with Facebook than younger people, who are less bothered by privacy issues and changes to its interface.
- What users dislike: In addition to security concerns, consumers cite issues with technology, including news-feed controls, constant and unpredictable interface changes, spam, navigation troubles, and annoying applications.
- What users dislike: A "dull format" and user unfriendliness.
- What users like: Keeping in touch with friends and family, and the ability to share and find music.
- What users dislike: Navigation and search problems, which make it difficult to find desired results, and the large quantity of useless or uninteresting videos on the site.
- What users like: Less annoyance and interference from ads (than on Facebook and MySpace), the variety of videos, the fun and humor the site provides, and the free videos.
- What users dislike: "Nothing" was most often cited, though some users said they question the credibility of user-generated content.
- What users like: Ease of use, and the variety, depth, and breadth of information available.
Portals and Search Engines
Customer satisfaction with portals and search engines fell 7% to an average ACSI score of 77 in 2010, driven largely by a 7% decline for Google (down six points to 80). Bing was measured this for the first this year, debuting with a score of 77, second only to Google.
News and Information Sites
Customer satisfaction with news and information sites stayed even in 2010: The industry received an average ACSI score of 74. FoxNews.com debuted this year at the top of the heap (82), five points above nearest competitor USAToday.com (77). CNN.com followed with an ACSI score of 73.
About the data: Findings are from the 2010 Annual E-Business Report, conducted by ForeSee Results, ACSI's e-commerce and e-business partner. Interviews with approximately 70,000 customers annually are used as input into an econometric model to measure satisfaction.