Facebook Lags in Consumer Satisfaction

Social media market is ready for a Google+, study says

It seems that Facebook’s biggest threat these days isn’t necessarily Google + but itself.

According to the 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) e-business report, the social network is the least-loved major website on the Internet.

The annual study, founded at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and published in partnership with analytics firm Foresee Results, tracks customer satisfaction across three categories of e-business: social media, portals and search engines, and online news. This year’s report, released today, is the twelfth of its kind.

While Facebook’s score increased 3 percent (from 64 percent last year to 66 percent this year), it still came in last in the social media category and in the overall index.

With a score of 78 percent, Wikipedia topped the social media category, followed by YouTube at 74 percent. According to the study, MySpace dropped off the index because it doesn’t have enough users for a statistically significant sample.

The survey took place in June, before the launch of Google+ but ACSI said Facebook’s low score bodes well for the search giant’s new social network.

"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 Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results, in a press release. "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."

The study also said that social media tends to be one of the lowest-scoring industries measured by the ACSI. Airlines, newspapers, and subscription television services are the only industries to score lower, it said.

In the search and portal category, Google took the lead with a score of 83 percent, but Bing finished closed behind with 82 percent. Foxnews.com scored highest among news sites with 82 percent and was followed by ABCNews.com at 77 percent.