It is simply a matter of time before Google+ replaces Facebook, suggests ForeSee Results Annual E-Business Report for the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The e-Business Report covering search engines, Internet news and information services, and social media services has placed Facebook at the bottom of the social media category, just like last year.
ACSI measures consumer satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 100, higher values indicating happier consumers, with anything around or above 80 indicating excellence. For 2011, Facebook managed a 66. That's two points up from last year, but is four points below the entire social media category average and is way behind sector leader Wikipedia, scoring a good 78 and YouTube scoring 74. Facebook's consumer satisfaction rating is lower than any company in the 2011 e-Business Report, with sites like AOL and the Huffington Post beating Zuckerberg's social network which was once feverishly popular.
Since Google's social networking venture Google+ is still in its field trial version, this year's index does not include its consumer satisfaction factor.
We don't know yet how Google+ will fare, but what we do know is that Google is one of the highest-scoring companies in the ACSI and Facebook is one of the lowest, said ForeSee Results president and CEO Larry Freed, in a statement. An existing dominance of market share like Facebook has is no longer a safety net for a company that is not providing a superior customer experience.
Facebook's user interface and the constant changes, coupled with complicated privacy controls and increased spam and ads, are the culprits in bringing down its consumer satisfaction index, says Freed.
Google topped the portals and search engines category, with a 2011 ACSI rating of 83, notably up 3 points from an 80 last year. Microsoft's Bing search engine scored a high 82, that's up 5 points from last year. Ask, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL also all improved their scores from last year with Ask landing a remarkable 7-point increase from 73 to 80.
According to Freed, Bing's reward program, where it exchanges searches using the Bing toolbar for Amazon gift cards, might lure consumers. Bing being the default search engine for Internet Explorer home page could also influence the increased number of visitors, says the report.
MySpace couldn't manage to figure in ACSI's survey this year since there just weren't enough people using the service to get a significant sampling.
The ACSI, founded at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, measures consumer satisfaction, based on annual interviews with approximately 70,000 American households. The ACSI is one of the largest and most-respected measures of consumer satisfaction in the US and surveys a broad array of services and industries.