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Facebook customer satisfaction in US plummets, says report

Press Trust Of India  |  New York 

Irked by changes to its user interface and privacy issues, customer satisfaction with social network site Facebook has suffered a major decline among US citizens this year, says a new report.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index “E-Business Report” in collaboration with research firm Foresee, comes days before the release of Facebook’s first quarterly earnings since it went public. According to the report, the social networking giant’s customer satisfaction has plunged 7.6 per cent to 61 points on a 100-point scale — a new record-low score for the social media category.

The social media segment reported a decrease of 1.4 per cent to 69 points this year, the report said.

“...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 report said.

Facebook with an unrivalled 800 million user-base world-wide lagged behind social media network Google Plus in terms of user satisfaction. Google Plus, measured for the first time by ASCI, has scored 78 points on the index. The strong score was attributed to the absence of traditional advertising and superior apps for mobile devices. Foresee President and CEO Larry Freed said,"I expect Google to leverage its multiple properties and mobile capabilities to attract users at a rapid pace. If Facebook doesn’t feel the pressure to improve customer satisfaction now, that may soon change." The social media segment reported a decrease of 1.4 per cent to 69 points this year, the report said.

Tied with Google Plus at the first rank, Wikipedia led the social media category for a third straight year with 78 points. Other, social media sites that performed better than Facebook on user satisfaction were photo sharing site Pinterest at 69 points, professional networking site LinkedIn at 63 points, and Twitter.Com at 64 points.

Overall, the E-business which includes social media, portal and search engines, news and information sites dropped 1.6 per cent to 74.2 points compared to year-ago period. “E-business websites used to be higher in customer satisfaction than most other categories covered by the ACSI, but their performance over the past three years suggests that they need to respond better to the changing needs and expectations of their customers," ACSI Chairman Claes Fornell said. Individually, the portals and search engines segment was the best performing sector in e-business but declined to 1.3 per cent at 79 points.

Google maintained the lead at 82 points followed by Bing at 81 points, in the search engine category. The report used data from interviews with nearly 70,000 customers annually to measure satisfaction with more than 230 companies in 47 industries and 10 economic sectors.

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First Published: Mon, July 23 2012. 00:04 IST