Google+ trumps Facebook in customer satisfaction
Facebook may be more populous, but Google+ is better-liked.
That's the message from a new set of data released Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Google+, the 1-year-old social network that pundits declared dead last year, ties Wikipedia at the top of the list of social media sites, with a score of 78 out of 100.
Facebook is the least-liked social network on the list, with a score of 61 on the group's ranking of e-businesses.
That's down nearly 8% from Facebook's previous ranking, indicating a drop in popularity of the social network that is by far the world's most populous, with more than 900 million active users. By contrast, Google+ has about 150 million monthly active users.
"If Facebook doesn't feel the pressure to improve customer satisfaction now, that may soon change," ForeSee's CEO, Larry Freed, said in a news release. ForeSee is an analytics firm that partnered with ACSI to create the report.
This was the first year Google+ was included in the ranking, which is based on interviews with consumers. ACSI, which releases monthly reports in a variety of business categories, says it interviews 70,000 people a year.
With a rating of 63, LinkedIn, another popular network, barely scored higher than Facebook in terms of customer satisfaction in Tuesday's report. YouTube, which is owned by Google, received a 73; Pinterest a 73; and Twitter a 64. (MySpace, in case you're wondering, isn't part of the list anymore).
Some people who use Google+ weren't surprised by the ranking.
"Makes sense," one user wrote in response to a CNN question about the news. "I'm sure a lot of people use Facebook because they genuinely love it, but a huge number are also using it because they feel forced to -- because everyone else they know is using it, or they think they need to have a business presence there. So there are many people using Facebook on a regular basis who don't actually like it and have plenty to complain about. Whereas the majority of people using Google+ regularly only bother to do so because they really prefer it over other sites like Facebook."
ACSI says Google+ is strong in areas where Facebook is weak.
"According to the report, Google+'s strong showing is a result of an absence of traditional advertising and what is seen as a superior mobile product," the group says in its news release.
"Google+'s strengths may be Facebook's weaknesses, as users complain about ads and privacy concerns. However, the most frequent complaints about Facebook are changes to its user interface, most recently the introduction of the Timeline feature."
The index was founded at the University of Michigan and gets support from ForeSee for its e-commerce and e-business rankings.