Facebook user satisfaction plummets

A new survey suggests members are increasingly unhappy with big changes to Mark Zuckerberg's social network, while rival Google+ is pleasing its fans.

By TheWeek.com Jul 19, 2012 1:02PM

Image: Man with computer (© Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc./Blend Images/Corbis)In a worrisome sign for Facebook (FB), which is set to release its first quarterly earnings report as a public company next week, a new poll suggests that user satisfaction on the social network may be in a downward spiral.

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), users are increasingly dissatisfied with Mark Zuckerberg's social network, while competitors such as Twitter and, remarkably, Google+ fared better.


Here's what you should know:

How was the survey conducted?
The annual report measures 230 companies across multiple sectors, assesses how happy customers are, and then assigns a score on a scale from 0 to 100. Facebook got a 61 this year, down from 69 in 2011 and the lowest score of the "e-companies" included in the ACSI.

Why is Facebook's popularity plummeting?
There are three big reasons, says The Huffington Post: Concerns over privacy, a frequently changing interface, and in-your-face advertising. The introduction of Timeline, in particular, seems to have Facebook users flustered.

How did the competition do?
Google's (GOOG) Google+, which has been disparaged as an unpopular "ghost town," emerged with a "surprisingly strong score," says Fox News: 78 out of 100. The survey's administrators cite Google+'s absence of traditional advertising and what many consider to be a better mobile experience as the primary drivers behind user satisfaction. (Also, it should be noted Google+ has a much smaller user base than Facebook; arguably, only the most satisfied users have stuck with it.) Twitter had a slightly better score than Facebook at 63, and newcomer Pinterest scored a 69.

How did social networks do compared to other industries?
Badly. On average, social networks are consistently among the lowest ranked industries, beating out only airlines, subscription television service, and newspapers.

What does all this mean for Facebook?
Facebook should feel pressure to improve customer satisfaction right away, says Larry Freed, whose analytics company, ForeSee, partnered with ACSI to release this survey. "It's got to hurt Mark Zuckerberg's ego to see another low rating, considering the company's mantra is about making users happy over advertisers," says Donna Tam at CNET.

More from The Week



Jul 19, 2012 2:58PM
I haven't been on Facebook for weeks.   And I don't miss it at all.
Jul 19, 2012 3:41PM
I'm so sick of all the ads on the side and facebook deciding what I consider important feeds. and timeline SUCKS a big fat donkeys Bleep!!!!
Jul 19, 2012 3:35PM
The site is a giant security hazard.  I discontinued my account.  CEO could care less about users.  
Jul 19, 2012 4:30PM
I like how now one of my friends will "like" something like Target or Amazon and I start getting ads for Target and Amazon now.  I really dont give a flying rats **** that Target is having half off frappuccino's today or Amazon is having a giant back to school sale.  Leave me the "F" alone, Im not the one who hit the "like" button!
Jul 19, 2012 3:56PM
I don't use Farcebook anymore.  WAY to many invites, and you may knows'.  I don't need it.  What's that commercial. Oh yeah, "  I have 687 friends, this is living".     No it's not.
Jul 19, 2012 6:20PM

God just invented a new social networking platform.  It's called get off your asss and go visit someone, look them in the eye, shake their hand, give them a hug, or pick up the phone and hear their voice.


The commercial where the nerdy girl says she has 732 friends "this is living", or whatever, is perfect to show what a moron sitting at a table alone claiming to have 732 friends looks like.


How many of your facebook pals could you call today? How many would listen to your problems and give good advice, how many would lend you $100 if you were desperate?  How many would pisss on you if you were burning??  The answer is likely NONE.


I have never had a facebook, for personal or business, and won't ever do it just on principal.  I am cool with people not tracking me down and judging me by whatever is on there.  A little mystery is good in this information age.

Jul 20, 2012 2:30PM
Mark Z has his money, his honey and no longer cares.  So why should we?  Let FB die.
Jul 20, 2012 10:27AM

I'm patting myself on the back right now for never having had a Facebook page. 

Jul 20, 2012 10:46AM
IMO 'timeline' is the main problem. I don't know of anyone personally who likes it. Go back to the old format. I don't understand the seemingly incessant need of some people to 'improve' things that already work just fine.
Jul 20, 2012 8:54AM
Everyone I have talked to absolutely hates the new Timeline format. I am on FB seldom now, because it is difficult to figure out where I have to go to see what is going on with friends, family. I miss posts for weeks, then find them later after the post has lost it's significance. The flow of information in the new format has been shattered into pieces that are difficult and time consumptive to track down. FB is sounding it's own death knell  with Timeline.
Jul 20, 2012 4:52PM

Timeline is terrible. Almost no one likes it but FB wants to shove it down their throats. Posts are always disappearing. Glitches are far worse with Timeline, too.

it's harder to follow and read.

Jul 20, 2012 2:56PM
It was great when it first started now I worry about privacy and all the advertisements and this horrible timeline.  It seems everytime I log on something else has changed.  Not happy
Jul 20, 2012 1:26PM
I deleted my facebook account over a month ago and am enjoying life more.  Can't figure out what I saw in it in the first place, just another way to waste time.
Jul 20, 2012 10:59AM
  I've said it before and I'll say it again till I'm blue in the face........social networking sites are the bane and eventual downfall of society. 
  I have no need to know all the intimate details of someone else's day to day life nor do I need to have 500,000 friends that I'll never meet in person.  I like to talk to my friends face to face or on the phone, if necessary.  Physical contact also eliminates having to wade through all the asinine, annoying ads that inundate those sites.
Jul 20, 2012 1:47PM

I closed my FB acct some months back . Shortly after opening it my personal email address was FLOODED with all kinds of nasty business, adverts, every dating site known to man and all I had in my profile was my name ( should have used an alias). I didn't get hooked into filing out their gigantic profile. Nothing is private on FB even what they tell you is private ie: your email address - isn't. It is sad most people do not recognize FB and other things like it are huge DATA BANKS, they are gathering information, even the adverts on my home PC changed after joining FB. Technology is great but overkill isn't. I wonder how many people could actually make it through 48 hours without FB, Twitter, cell phone, various pads etc? probably not many.


Jul 19, 2012 6:26PM
For the life of me, I have never understood why people would put so much private information out there.  Identity theft, stalking, etc. are real problems, and only a fool reveals so much about themselves to the world.  On top of that, who really cares to know the smallest details about your life anyway?  Too many people seek celebrity.  I seek anonymity and privacy.
Jul 20, 2012 11:06AM
Facebook will eventually go the way of My Space, into oblivion.
Jul 20, 2012 10:13AM
I enjoyed and used Facebook until the 'Timeline'  format started. I hate it. All of the boxes to keep track of. The original format was simple. Keep it simple.
Jul 20, 2012 10:25AM
I enjoyed facebook while my son was in the Marine Corps - it was a great way to keep in touch with him.  Once he finished his 5 years and family and friends started "friending" me, I couldn't take it any more.  The self-taken pictures, the "my life is a fairytale" posts, the inane comments made every 2 seconds - I had to get out of it.
Jul 19, 2012 4:45PM
I quit Facebook because it was simply too complicated... and I quickly tired of all the notices that kept popping up in my e-mail. It seemed that about the same time I got something figured out - Facebook changed it.
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