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Social Satisfaction War: Google+ vs. Facebook

Posted on 7.16.2012

Google+ has won the customer satisfaction battle, but Facebook still may be winning the social network war.

Facebook’s customer satisfaction score has dropped 8 percent since last year, to a disappointing 61 out of 100 according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Business Report that was recently released in partnership with customer experience analytics firm ForeSee

This score is not only disappointing because it reveals that Facebook users are even less satisfied with the social network than they were a year ago, but it is also disappointing because it marks a record-low score in the ACSI’s Social Media category, and places the world’s most popular social network among the five lowest-scoring companies of the more than 230 that were reviewed.

However, basking in Facebook’s consumer satisfaction pitfalls is new rival Google+, because the search engine giant’s social network received an impressive score of 78 in its first appearance in the ACSI. 

According to the report, Google+’s strong score is a result of an absence of traditional advertising as well as the company’s advanced mobile product. And Google+’s strengths may prove to be Facebook’s weaknesses, because the report also shows that many Facebook users' complaints have to do with ads and privacy concerns. That being said, the most frequent complaints about Facebook regard changes to its user interface – including the recent introduction of Timeline.

“Facebook and Google+ are competing on two critical fronts: customer experience and market penetration. Google+ handily wins the former, and Facebook handily wins the latter, for now,” says Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee. “It’s worth asking how much customer satisfaction matters for Facebook, given its unrivaled 800 million user base. But 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.” 

In addition to Google+, three other social networks made their debut in the ACSI: Pinterest which received a score of 69, LinkedIn with a score of 63 and Twitter with a score of 64. While the scores for LinkedIn and Twitter are below the category average, Wikipedia tied Google+ at 78 to lead the Social Media category for a third year in a row. Furthermore, Google’s other social network, YouTube, scored above the category average but slipped a point from last year, to 73.

What do you think about the results of the survey? Are you more satisfied with Google+ than Facebook? Let us know in the Comments section below.


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