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ACSI survey: Facebook less popular than some newspaper sites

The American Customer Satisfaction Index released its latest findings Tuesday morning, and they're a bit surprising: Only days before Facebook can hang up an "over 500 million served" sign, the survey found abysmal approval ratings for Facebook and other big-name social-media sites.

On a scale of 0 to 100, the ACSI--a project set up by the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and frequently cited here--gave Facebook a score of 64.

That's an appallingly low figure, only a few points higher than the lowest-scoring airlines in June's survey or the least-liked cable companies in May's results.

It's also one point above MySpace's miserable 63 in this month's findings. YouTube earned a gentleman's C at 73, and Wikipedia ranked first at 77. Twitter, for some reason, wasn't measured.

Meanwhile, the ACSI ranked the Web sites of the New York Times and USA Today at 76 and 77, with Fox News's site leading that category at 82. (The Post's washingtonpost.com did not figure in its results.)

In a third part of this month's survey, the ACSI ranked Google the second-most-popular option among search engines and Web portals, at 80 ("all others" came in at 82), with Microsoft's Bing in third place at 77.

The ACSI numbers, as its latest press release (PDF) explains, come from "interviews with approximately 70,000 customers annually." I've had little reason to quibble with its findings before, but I have my doubts about today's numbers for social-media sites--the first set it's calculated for that industry.

It's not that I can't think of reasons to grumble about Facebook: the ridiculous games like FarmVille, the silly virtual gifts (though they're going away on Aug. 1), the cringe-inducing behavior of some Facebook users on that site and, of course, Facebook management's pattern of privacy missteps.

But still... a 64 percent score? That seems just a little low to me. What do you think? What number would you put on your own satisfaction--or lack thereof--with Facebook?

(Disclaimer: Post Co. chairman and chief executive Donald E. Graham sits on Facebook's board of directors, and Post staffers and the newspaper as a whole use Facebook for marketing purposes.)

2:32 p.m.: Facebook's Washington-based spokesman Andrew Noyes e-mailed this response: "We haven't reviewed the survey methodology in detail, but clearly we have room to improve. Building a simple, useful service is the best way to earn and sustain the trust people put in us. That's why we spend so much of our time and energy focused on improving the products we offer and introducing new ones. We look forward to the next survey."

By Rob Pegoraro  |  July 20, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Recommended reading , Search , Social media , The business we have chosen  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Google nixes Nexus One
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Comments

I never would have imagined that, especially with all the talk going about how newspapers will be obsolete in a few years. Maybe it's a good sign indicating that the newspaper industry is keeping up with technology.

Posted by: spolastre | July 20, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Facebook has become a colossal bore. I much prefer e-mail and telephone to keep in touch with family and friends.

Posted by: char78 | July 20, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

If you consider that the highest score was only in the low 80s, then a score in the low 60s isn't that bad. And in this day of grading on a curve, then a score in the low 60s is beginning to look pretty good. It's only if the grading is done without a curve that it's really bad.

Posted by: henwin | July 20, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Facebook is whatever YOU make it to be. If you are active and selective, it can be what you want it to be.

Posted by: cmecyclist | July 20, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I would put my satisfaction with Facebook at zero -- which is why I deactivated my account.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | July 20, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Did they survey users of Facebook or just general population? If it's the latter, then I'm not surprised about the low score. People who don't use social networks and only hear about them from the traditional media must think they are some kind of evil and dangerous place full of child molesters etc.

Posted by: rurikbird | July 20, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Faux News is rated high?

In ANYTHING??????

I seriously question this entire process.

Dewey did beat Truman, after all.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeagh!

Posted by: bs2004 | July 20, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Anything ranking WEAKipedia high has no credibility. Everyone has an agenda, and will delete your edits if they don't agree with it. There are constantly edit wars, so it's a waste of time to try to improve articles there.

Posted by: slwapo | July 20, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed that Fox News could be the top rated. That Facebook only scored a 64 is not at all surprising based on their recent total disregard for privacy. I use Facebook, but my opinion would not even give them a 64.

Posted by: mdembski1 | July 20, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"and Post staffers and the newspaper as a whole use Facebook for marketing purposes"

How many of the 500 million enrollees are there just to see what they hype is about? The only reason I enrolled, was to follow links from blogs and to see just what "join us on facebook" would achieve. The dubious value I received from that experience has made it much easier to ignore the now ubiquitous "follow us on twitter" messages.

Posted by: Athena_news | July 20, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Facebook is a hyped product.

It gets low satisfaction ratings but that doesn't slow its popularity in the media. Someone or something from above is pushing Facebook onto a public that might prefer other, more unique sites. But those other sites can't always compete with a behemoth that's hemmoraging red ink. Some competitors are required to be responsible market participants.

If Facebook were big and profitable like Google then there would be other worries. But because Facebook is big and unprofitable and unchallenged, it must be considered highly suspect. Highly suspect of what, I'm not sure.

Posted by: blasmaic | July 20, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I'd give it a 75. I'm older and most of the people I know don't even text or have a smartphone, so they're not on FB. It scares a lot of people (!) Different generations use it for different things. My young granddaughters are in constant contact with their friends, my older grandson posts inscrutable comments with a lot of s*** and f***, my kids use it mostly for business networking and setting up weekends. I don't think FB is as ubiquitous as we like to think. I don't think the score is unrealistic. I agree that the majority of people get their news on the web now. It's instant and it's free.

Posted by: maxinea | July 20, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

It should not be surprising that Faux News scored so highly. That is an indication that they are meeting the expectations of their constituency, who devour the red meat from their birther and death-panel commentators. Like asking alcoholics whether they like liquor.

Posted by: 54Stratocaster | July 20, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

This survey looks jumbled up and I think not realistic and the numbers seem to be imaginary. One cannot pass a judgment on a product or services by collecting opinion of selected group of people. Surveys should always be done on bigger platform, so that, the outcome statistical data would be accurate or at-least near to it. http://www.indiamaphosting.com/

Posted by: nikhilnarayan | July 21, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Headline very misleading. Headline (popularity) & content (satisfaction) of the article are NOT the same thing - although they can be related. There are many reasons for Facebook having the satisfaction rating it has, but that does NOT mean it is not popular (or not). People may like having the service available to them (for whatever reason) but dislike using it (again, for a variety of reasons). So, facebook would be popular, but not very satisfying (from a user perspective). Better measures of popularity (which I find more interesting) would be: the percentage of abandoned accounts, how long users remain active, and the frequency of user updates over time (as well as the sign up of new users over time). At least for me, these are the much more interesting metrics - that I am also sure facebook management is looking at, in addition to the satisfaction issues - many of which are well known - layout issues, privacy concerns, advertising, etc., and likely lead to its lower satisfaction scores.

Posted by: notamullethead | July 21, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I'd rate my satisfaction with Facebook at 95 to 100. That's right. I am satisfied with it because it does exactly what I want: It gives me a way to visit with friends who are spread across the country and around the world; I can share my pictures and watch their kids grow up; and I can "hide" all those nuisance games.

Posted by: Vosora | July 21, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The survey was done in the U.S. It did not take into account the rest of the world.

Posted by: docchari | July 21, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

But, but, but......how can Facebook be less popular?, I have 2,530 friends to prove it, they all love me, praise me and offer me good business deals with zero risks and huge returns!!!!!!

Posted by: eaglestrk01 | July 21, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Imagine that, 500 million losers that need to get a life and get away from the computer.

Posted by: Classic60 | July 21, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@ Vosora...

You are 95 to 100 percent satisfied?

Hmmm.. hope you enjoy all those marketers and criminals with you and your family and friends private data... enjoy the rest of your day now, ya hear?

Posted by: darbyohara | July 21, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

FACEBOOK Is Machine. Fakebook, As Some Award Winning Pundits Attest.

However, If User wants Inside Look in lives & thoughts of some Important People, as Monitored by FaceBook Account Members, Intresting deeper glimpse into Hard Life of People. Good People, BAD People, Wealthy or Poor. People Could Never Met NOR Have Time to Understand, In Real Life.

Fakebook Is Unique & worth some time. Also GOOD to Learn to Turn OFF Face Book & Do It Again, As Really Is Fake Book Sculpted Molded & delivered by Psycological Service. NYT Reports Inside of Facebook HQ Is Like Prison & People working monitors are often Exhausted, in quest for Crack into Your fortune.

Signed:PHYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART von DRASHEK M.D.

Posted by: ThomasStewart1 | July 21, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Does PHYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART von DRASHEK M.D.has ANY grasp of the English language. We like to joke that doctors can't write based on your prescription, but this butchering of grammatical rules would scare me away as a patient.

Facebook in inconsistent and invasive, but can be a decent "tool" to keep in touch with others. The rating probably comes from the "changes" they keep making and teh way some posts show up and others don't. But rating Fox News high completely invalidates this survey not to mention the HUGE number of accounts set up and abandoned and those setting up multiple accounts for various reasons.

Posted by: pjohn2 | July 21, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Does PHYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART von DRASHEK M.D.has ANY grasp of the English language. We like to joke that doctors can't write based on your prescription, but this butchering of grammatical rules would scare me away as a patient.

Facebook in inconsistent and invasive, but can be a decent "tool" to keep in touch with others. The rating probably comes from the "changes" they keep making and teh way some posts show up and others don't. But rating Fox News high completely invalidates this survey not to mention the HUGE number of accounts set up and abandoned and those setting up multiple accounts for various reasons.

Posted by: pjohn2 | July 21, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

@darbyohara

Yes, I am 95 percent satisfied because I don't EXPECT FBook to be more than what it is. I don't EXPECT FBook to be a secure site, so I don't put anything out there I wouldn't want my trash collector to know.

Anyone who expects ANY such site to guard their personal information will be sorely disappointed and most unsatisfied.

Posted by: Vosora | July 21, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

First of all why would you put your personal information on Facebook, I post a verse from the bible everyday maybe someone will read it maybe they won't but to put out your personal information is called lack of common sense, just like life it is what you make it and everything is not for everyone, so if you don't like a product or don't understand something or a situation step back and keep it moving. That is what makes us all different so we can have choices?

Posted by: JACZY1 | July 21, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Things like that BS response from their Washington guy may be one reason for the low score.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | July 22, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

FACEBOOK SUX.

Social media is SO yesterday!

Posted by: lquarton | July 22, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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