The company is so ubiquitous it has no incentive to "delight" users. Wikipedia topped the social media sites for customer satisfaction.
west.m via Flickr
Facebook, the most visited site on the Internet, is also among the most hated, says a new research.
The report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index and customer experience analytics firm ForeSee Results measures customer satisfaction with social media, Internet search, and news companies. The report comes as Mark Zuckerberg hits television today to defend Facebook, and was conducted before the widespread introduction of Google+.
"Facebook is becoming the only game in town so there is no incentive to 'delight' the user," said ACSI managing director David Van Amburg.
From the report: "Customers have shown that, so far, they have been willing to suffer through a poor user experience in order to enjoy the benefits Facebook provides."
Facebook scored 64 on a 100-point scale, which puts the company in the bottom five percent of private sector companies and in the same range as airlines and cable companies, "two perennially low-scoring industries with terrible customer satisfaction," according to the results.
Other social media sites fared relatively well. Wikipedia topped the list with a score of 77.
"Wikipedia is more satisfying than most of the ACSI-measured news and information websites," wrote Claes Fornell, ACSI founder and a University of Michigan business professor. "Like Google, Wikipedia’s user interface has remained very consistent over the years, and its nonprofit standing means that it has not been impacted by commercialization and marketing unlike many other social media sites."
YouTube had a score of 73. MySpace had a score of 63—one point below Facebook.
Facebook "was the upstart to MySpace’s market leader just five years ago, but these roles now have been reversed," Fornell wrote. "Still, controversies over privacy issues, frequent changes to user interfaces, and increasing commercialization have positioned the big social networking sites at satisfaction levels well below other websites and similar to poor-performing industries like airlines and subscription TV service (both 66)."
Google was at the top of the search portals and the search engines industry with a score of 80 out of 100, although that is down from 86 last year.
Microsoft’s Bing search engine "makes a strong first showing with a score of 77," according to the report. It was followed by Yahoo (76), AOL (74), and Ask.com (73).
Inc. contributing editor COURTNEY RUBIN was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.