The 2010 American Customer Survey Index conducted by ForeSee Results gave Facebook 64 out of 100 points in a customer satisfaction survey; that's lower than any other business in its category. However, it's not at the bottom of the social media heap; MySpace received one point less.
ForeSee Results CEO Larry Freed says that "privacy concerns, frequent changes to the website, and commercialization and advertising" are responsible for the low rating. Those reasons for dissatisfaction mirror the ones revealed in previous surveys.
By contrast, Google received a score of 80 (although that's seven points lower than last year's score), Bing and Wikipedia managed a 77, Yahoo pulled a 76 and YouTube landed at 73. Facebook also received a lower rating than any of the major news websites, which were led by FOXNews.com at 82. MSNBC.com and CNN.com trailed behind at 74 and 73 respectively.
We'd love to see what Twitter's score would be, but the survey excluded Twitter because so many of its users experience it through third party applications, making it difficult to judge how much their perceptions reflect Twitter itself.
Even though Facebook's users are dissatisfied, they haven't demonstrated the will to leave. Perhaps it's because there is no strong competitor, or because their social lives would suffer tremendously if they opted out of this now-essential tool for communication and event planning.
After the Instant Personalization opt-out controversy, thousands of users committed to quit on May 31. The movement failed when many of them simply didn't. Instead of suffering perceptible negative consequences for its choices, the social network has continued to grow. It will celebrate 500 million users later this week.
Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be giving a rare TV interview with Diane Sawyer today, presumably to talk about the milestone and repair some of the PR damage in the wake of these privacy scandals and in anticipation of the release of the film The Social Network. What do you think he'll say? What does he need to say?