Editorial

Editorial: Why is Facebook satisfaction dropping?

There have been a decreasing number of Facebook users which is clearly based on the satisfaction these users get when using Facebook. Facebook’s satisfaction statistics have dropped by eight points based on a statistic published by the ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index), leaving its current score at 61. The eight point drop in satisfaction doesn’t seem that bad right? Wrong. The drop means that Facebook is the fourth-lowest score among all the 230 companies surveyed in the “e-business" category.

Twitter and LinkedIn received a score of 64 and 63 which was only slightly better than Facebook, but the lead still wasn’t enough to get them out of the bottom ten for low satisfaction scores. New social network Pinterest received a score of 69, while YouTube got a 73 and astonishingly, Google+ got a 78.

Larry Freed, CEO of analytics firm ForeSee, which partnered with the ACSI in the social media satisfaction study, said he sees three big reasons for the discontent: privacy oversights, a frequently changing user interface, and ads. The first two are things the company can address directly, though ads, the main revenue source, are trickier. Freed said 61 percent of users say they pay no attention to Facebook advertising.

I used to use Facebook a lot, and since about a year and a half ago I jumped ship to Twitter and have never been happier. And honestly, the only thing I currently use Facebook for is posting articles and memes – got to love memes. I’ll agree with Larry Freed’s points about privacy and interfaces impacting satisfaction, but I’ll ignore advertisements affecting it because the majority of users don’t notice or bother with them anyway. I also think debugging and actually making sure that things work to the best ability is also a game changer – no one wants to use a broken social media network.

Facebook has more functionality but is less intuitive

I think the specific problems that lie in the dissatisfaction of social media site users is that sometimes constant updates make things less intuitive (Facebook, I’m looking at you). A good example of this is comparing Facebook’s timeline update which a lot of people really didn’t like to the point where Facebook made it optional to install. That doesn’t mean installing timeline is or was a bad idea, for one, it did add more functionality to the standard Facebook profile, but should unnecessary functionality ever be considered over satisfaction, I think not.

However, sometimes too much functionality turns out to be an annoyance. A good example of this are Facebook games, which have quickly evolved into addictive notification-spamming games to play with friends, however, I and many believe that nothing leaves us more unsatisfied with Facebook than the inability to block multiple game requests. Instead, we are forced to individually block them, or simply block friends who spam requests which is simply not good enough. More improvements should be done to our applications and notifications that come with them to ensure others aren't dissatisfied with Facebook in future.

Twitter is more intuitive but less functional

Now, I’ll give you an example of Twitter’s last major update (not last week’s one), which placed a navigation bar at the top of the page and improved tending topics by giving them some expandable tweets – detailing more information.

This was a good update, and since that update, I have used Twitter a lot more, and I’ve also seen a lot of my friends jump ship to Twitter. However, with the update, Twitter users lost a lot of core functionality. Even nowadays, going onto my profile and typing in a name or @username will not always work, sometimes Twitter can’t find the names of people I follow, or generally has problems loading things. Twitter is continuing to update things without fixing existing issues, and I can understand why even that would dissatisfy users.

What Google+ is doing right

There is a little more to the surprising fact that Google+ users are more satisfied with the service. Facebook’s audience is much broader. Whereas, Google’s isn’t, and whilst Facebook connects people pretty well, things aren’t always fixed for the interest of the users. Google+ offers things like Hangouts, cleaner interface and a nicer mobile application which may not make the social network entirely popular initially, but there still is a satisfied audience for those features.

Google seems to subtly target user-groups, rather than the user-base as a whole, which could lead to why users are satisfied with its services – because there is something for everyone. However, it still isn’t as popular as other social networks.

Privacy

I think all social networks do a decent job at giving options of keeping data private if needed, but I do think privacy plays a big role in the satisfaction of social media sites, but then again, social networking generally means that you allow your data to be posted on the internet for others’ viewing pleasure. Controlling your data is your problem, and not the social networks. However, I’d say the privacy options on current social networks are fine, but that’s purely because I’ve never had a problem with them.

Conclusion

I personally think there is a very fine line between functionality improvements and intuitiveness. However, most social network users are power users – so changes made to the service are easily adapted to. I think Google+ in particular has a great advantage with a great innovative mobile application and one can only imagine how much a decent Facebook or Twitter application would help satisfy users with its service. By all means, I don’t think non-power users should be ignored, but I think the standards of privacy, functionality, intuitiveness and bug fixing need to be improved to ensure that the majority of users are satisfied, because we all know you can’t please everybody and a satisfaction score is hardly ever going to be 100 for social media outlets as large as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest. 

These are just my opinions, you’re also entitled to yours, so please let us know what they are in the comments below.

Sources: Huffington Post | ACSI

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This survey is a joke!
Everyone I know (and everyone in that everyone - you get the picture) has a Google+ account and a facebook account.
Not one of them has done anything with their G+ account for as long as I know!

these major dot coms never last.. Once gov and corp take over it tanks to **** like everything else they touch.. I cant wait till facebook dies and all those bankers are left without nothing.. Oh wait they get a call before hand... nvm

I am really surprised by the focus on the comments on this article. I don't see people really talking about what I feel is the real issue for the satisfaction drop. While I see a lot of good points, my personal view is that Facebook simply doesn't listen to it's users. They won't add features we all cry for (dislike button anyone?), add features we don't want (timeline!), and change things on us right as we are barely getting adjusted to the last change.

Further, their privacy policy is still a complete disaster. They still won't permanently remove content that is deleted by their users, the privacy adjustments for posting things are un-intuitive and keep changing for the worse. They are forcing people to reveal too much information (location, etc, which is annoying to constantly monitor and disable).

These to me are the big killers. Sure ads and games are annoying, the iOS app sucks, etc..
But I think the real issue is that people really don't like that it's a convoluted mess to change settings, control privacy, and have it constantly changing around.. making it frustrating to use and understand.

Facebook has just gotten so overbloated and slow and buggy. They've tried to add too much and now it's as much of a cluttered mess as MySpace was. I loved the simplicity of FB when it first came out, but now between the crap and then the increasing privacy concerns, I just don't bother with it much anymore.

To be honest I think the reasons are so much more simple than that. Google's following is still very much in the early adopter crowd, which means lower expectations (and hence easier satisfied) and a more religious devotion to their chosen tool (and hence more forgiving, therefore easily satified). The number of people I know that use Google+ just because it isn't Facebook/Twitter is incredible.

As for Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn, these are used by more 'normal' people who are less forgiving and quite happy to complain...

Personally, I use Twitter, because quite frankly the Facebook iOS app sucks and I have 1 friend who actively uses Google+, so there is not enough pull there.

I don't really like FB, or Twitter. yet I have an account for Family sake.

I'm from the time that IRC was lots of fun and yet whithout pics..... now people take it to much serious...and uses FB like a vanity show-off that makes them really annoying... yep FB also have those stupid spam game apps.

I noticed the drop-off of users seemed to coincide with thew introduction of the "Timeline" on the main page. Compared to what came before, this is the most annoying recent change.

I used to like facebook a lot but not anymore because it's a good source of gossip where people' feelings might get hurt.

I think people are realising that they don't need to document every moment of their life on Facebook.

It's stupid when you meet up with someone you haven't seen for a few months and the conversation goes something like this:

"I got a new car"
"Oh yeah I saw that on Facebook... my brother's just got married"
"Oh yeah I saw the photos on Facebook... my dog died a few weeks ago and my daughter still hasn't got over it"
"Oh yeah I saw that on Facebook... have you seen the new Batman movie yet?"
"Not yet but I saw that you put it on Facebook"

Just looking at the people I'm friends with on Facebook, it's a lot quieter now (blocked apps and games excepted) and it's starting to edge back to how it should be.

Very true. I remember this happening more than once to me. Sometimes I would act all surprised and be like o'rly than saying I saw that on your FB.

I have become very bored of Facebook. If some of my friends didn't live so far away then I wouldn't have a use for Facebook, it's just a great thing to still contact friends who live a few hundread miles away.

I rarely speak to local friends on facebook to be honest

I "liked" a band, now they keep sending me event invites and junk I dont care about, made me unlike them to get it to stop. Friends also keep giving me game requests.
It has gotten out of control.

Raa said,
Timeline was optional to install? Uhh, no. It wasn't.

Yes, it is optional. My wife's FB account still doesn't have it enabled. She has the option to turn it on, but she never has.

SkolVikings said,

Yes, it is optional. My wife's FB account still doesn't have it enabled. She has the option to turn it on, but she never has.

Well how do you turn it off? I think Facebook auto-updated me, without my consent, so how do you turn it off?

Facebook = crap these days cause people put the most utterly boring, mundane, useless info on there.

I think Facebook needs to go back to it's roots a bit more, and actually make it more about contacting OTHER PEOPLE, rather than just uploading things in a way that every Tom, Dick & Harry can see.

It needs greater personalisation for posts & who can see them, a newer, simpler and more pleasant colour scheme and a general change in security and "auto settings" etc being applied.

Most annoying thing for me, is that I cant upload a 50mb camera phone MPEG-4 file to a message thread I have going on...it just hangs and hangs its so crap!

most I know leaving because of admitted data mining and government spying through facebook
beytray your users privacy
your users leave
its that simple
karma is a bitch
and zuckerburg has created a bit of bad karma for himself
it will come back round...karma always does

I still think FaceBook is great for me to keep in contact with Friends and Family that I don't have time to see, but I think the 'hype' of the service is beginning to fade now.

People just 'expect' it to be there now, and when you rely on such a service in that way you tend to notice all of the little things that annoy you about it's imperfection...

just my 2 pence worth.

SteveMackinnon said,
I still think FaceBook is great for me to keep in contact with Friends and Family that I don't have time to see, but I think the 'hype' of the service is beginning to fade now.

People just 'expect' it to be there now, and when you rely on such a service in that way you tend to notice all of the little things that annoy you about it's imperfection...

just my 2 pence worth.

There's this device they came out with a while back. It's pretty neat. See you put in a certain code that only they know and BAM! you can actually hear them speaking in real time. You can also see them if you have the right software. There's also the option to send something similar to a tweet, except only they can see it.

It's called a phone. Helping keep people in touch since 1876.

KCRic said,
There's this device they came out with a while back. It's pretty neat. See you put in a certain code that only they know and BAM! you can actually hear them speaking in real time. You can also see them if you have the right software. There's also the option to send something similar to a tweet, except only they can see it.

It's called a phone. Helping keep people in touch since 1876.

Except your argument falls flat on its face as people get new phones every so often, break their phones, change carriers, and so forth. Numbers are rapidly changing, hell even email addresses have longer use than a phone number.

Or maybe the person lost all their contacts by breaking their phone. What's the first thing that happens? A post on FB to get everyone's number back. Or going to their profile to obtain their number without having to bother them.

Email should be the answer, but not enough people email each other, nor do they want to figure out who crazygurl23@bladiblabla.us.tx is.

All the external content I don't want to know about. Game requests and things someone else did in a third party app. I don't want to read that. And luckily it died down somewhat now, but right after they went public, I got tons of promoted content shoveled into my newsfeed from pages someone else liked.

I'd be long on Google+, but I have to wait for everyone else to get fed up. That'll be about 2016.

I don't like the fact that the site tries to decide what I want to see and what order I want to see it in. I hate the "Top stories" view and it will not stay sorted in chronological order when set that way. A meme posted by one friend is not more important to me than another friend's birth announcement.

Facebook is not bad on the whole, the amount of utter crap on there from apps is starting to get annoying though. Especially apps that randomly tag all of a persons friends in pictures and stuff... other than that my only other real complaint is the chat system is pretty rubbish, would be nice to have the option to show just people on-line at the moment.

Twitter is just full of rubbish to me, all the interesting stuff gets drowned out with the amount of junk posted.

As for Google+... well its dead, for me anyway. Everyone i have on there doesn't use it and is on Facebook / Twitter.

Easy. Because their updates are garbage... They don't even contain features that people actually want. Ever. How about keeping game crap off of my wall and news feed? Make a separate feed for games or something. Nooooo... We needed Timeline instead...

I actually think that Facebook is still fantastic. It's satisfaction ratings must be dropping because, well, it's mainstream now.

Biggest problem with Facebook is the feed now longer shows everyone's posts by default, even if you click most recent. And there needs to be an easy way to ilter out specifically just status updates from your friends, from app postings, pages and groups.

My most annyoing things on Facebook:
1)Games. I must admit, I play one FB game from Zynga. What I see on my Wall, yes, Wallposts from this game, but nearly only this posts. No pictures, videos, opinions, whatever, only game posts.
2)Automatic enabled features. FB users get a new features and it's enabled, why I must always search around in the settings to disable this new feature, if I don't want it?
3)A link there, a button there, a list on another place... The Facebook wall looks ugly and is not very functional.

Lastwebpage said,
My most annyoing things on Facebook:
1)Games. I must admit, I play one FB game from Zynga. What I see on my Wall, yes, Wallposts from this game, but nearly only this posts. No pictures, videos, opinions, whatever, only game posts.
2)Automatic enabled features. FB users get a new features and it's enabled, why I must always search around in the settings to disable this new feature, if I don't want it?
3)A link there, a button there, a list on another place... The Facebook wall looks ugly and is not very functional.

I agree 100%... This satisfaction drop is Facebook's own doing...

I am getting more annoyed by the constant posting of ad's by companies that you "like", constant posting of "funny" pictures by friends, and postings of huge images with sayings on them by friends... its turning into myspace but more organized...

neufuse said,
I am getting more annoyed by the constant posting of ad's by companies that you "like", constant posting of "funny" pictures by friends, and postings of huge images with sayings on them by friends... its turning into myspace but more organized...

HAHAHA, at least your friends don't have the power to play music when you browse to their page... LOL

neufuse said,
I am getting more annoyed by the constant posting of ad's by companies that you "like", constant posting of "funny" pictures by friends, and postings of huge images with sayings on them by friends... its turning into myspace but more organized...

Err, so unlike spammy companies. It's really the only way.

M_Lyons10 said,

HAHAHA, at least your friends don't have the power to play music when you browse to their page... LOL

I give it a few more months before Spotify links on the your Timeline auto-play :-p

neufuse said,
I am getting more annoyed by the constant posting of ad's by companies that you "like", constant posting of "funny" pictures by friends, and postings of huge images with sayings on them by friends... its turning into myspace but more organized...

Not sure what to tell you other than to quit liking companies and get better friends.

I don't really like any companies, but the ones I do post relevant stuff to what I'm interested in. Hell, Neowin is a prime example of me seeing a news story, then coming back here to read it. Also, it's nice not being left in the dark when a new album drops by artists I like.

Basically, just use it as you see fit. Also, you can customize what kind of updates you see from friends. Just unsubscribe from the pictures they post...

It's dropping because it's user base keeps growing. Any site with near a billion users is going to have a crummy satisfaction rating. I dunno the last time a billion people agreed on anything :-P

As long as every single business and startup out there keeps saying "like our facebook page" instead of "+1 our google thing" or actually building their own website, facebook will live on just fine.

ahhell said,
That still no excuse for the site to still be a steaming pile of **** after all this time.

It isn't. Some people just getting annoyed by the most trivial nonsense. I'm not a fanboy either, but more than half the arguments people drive for disliking Facebook are pretty weak and come with solutions that they're just too lazy to implement.

I don't know what sort of issues you have with it, but obviously your opinion is simply that because if Facebook were truly a steaming pile of ****, no one would use it and the empire would come down just as MySpace did.

Google+ is popular because the only people that really use it are die-hards and Google fan boys Other then that, great read. I use facebook to keep up with family and some tech blogs, and it's pretty good at that. I don't like them changing stuff without telling you (the whole e-mail fiasco)

siah1214 said,
Google+ is popular because the only people that really use it are die-hards and Google fan boys Other then that, great read. I use facebook to keep up with family and some tech blogs, and it's pretty good at that. I don't like them changing stuff without telling you (the whole e-mail fiasco)

Agreed. If people other than the die hard Google fan were to use Google + (Or any of their services for that matter) the satisfaction rate would be faaaaar worse...

siah1214 said,
Google+ is popular because the only people that really use it are die-hards and Google fan boys Other then that, great read. I use facebook to keep up with family and some tech blogs, and it's pretty good at that. I don't like them changing stuff without telling you (the whole e-mail fiasco)

Jake does a great job describing Google+. It's not trying to be Facebook, it's trying to be a community for people with similar interests. True, all of your friends may not be on it, but that doesn't mean it's dead. Find a topic and you'll find thousands of people with the same interests. Think of it as a cross between Facebook and Twitter. For example, I'm on G+ and while I mostly just lurk, there's some VERY talented and famous photographers on the site that share their work, tips, techniques, and have hangouts . The thing everyone misses is that Google+ is not directly competing with Facebook.

Fezmid said,

Jake does a great job describing Google+. It's not trying to be Facebook, it's trying to be a community for people with similar interests. True, all of your friends may not be on it, but that doesn't mean it's dead. Find a topic and you'll find thousands of people with the same interests. Think of it as a cross between Facebook and Twitter. For example, I'm on G+ and while I mostly just lurk, there's some VERY talented and famous photographers on the site that share their work, tips, techniques, and have hangouts . The thing everyone misses is that Google+ is not directly competing with Facebook.

That is true, I mean I used to host developer meetings for projects I'm involved in within hangouts back in Google+'s beta phase. Just made things so much easier - it also describes why my game development projects slowed down after we stopped using G+, the service is really productive if used right.

Not really sure why I quit using it. In some ways it is a better way to connect to people than Twitter. There's no sense of reluctance to add someone of interest into a circle on G+, but on Twitter, I constantly question whether I should or shouldn't follow some people - maybe that's just me?

I also cannot stop praising the newest application revision - that thing is beautiful.

Praetor said,
i guess that you aren't lobbying g+ enough.

I don't really use G+ - haven't since it came out of beta. I stated that I use Twitter more. However, the G+ app royally ****s on any other social media application IMO.

Zeikku said,

I don't really use G+ - haven't since it came out of beta. I stated that I use Twitter more. However, the G+ app royally ****s on any other social media application IMO.


Absolutely true about the G+ mobile app part. To me, it's the best looking android app i've seen period.

AWilliams87 said,

Absolutely true about the G+ mobile app part. To me, it's the best looking android app i've seen period.

I actually install the G+ app just because it's good to play around with. It's so fluid and smooth too. It has really Facebook's app is by far the worst - if you aren't in HSPA the application seems to have problems collecting data. Such a clunky piece of ****.

The game app requests are the most annoying! I haven't blocked friends sending requests, because that block is for everything, not just game apps. Blocking one app at a time just doesn't work.

Neobond said,
The game app requests are the most annoying! I haven't blocked friends sending requests, because that block is for everything, not just game apps. Blocking one app at a time just doesn't work.

You can globally block requests from a specific game/app. Once you do you'll never see the requests again. It's a hidden function that should be far less hidden.

Neobond said,
Yeah I know about that, thats why I said blocking one app at a time just doesn't work, theres always another one to replace it

It's always worked for me at any rate. I guess I don't have any annoying FB game happy friends really. I try a few of them out but they usually aren't worth my time.

Neobond said,
Yeah I know about that, thats why I said blocking one app at a time just doesn't work, theres always another one to replace it

I started a crusade of blocking all unwanted apps that sent me requests. I must have blocked dozens and now, after blocking the most used ones, I rarely receive unwanted requests.

Yeah, it kind of sucks that FB games just can't be legitimate games. Even the game that insomniac put out, Outernauts -- is riddled with the game type of "energy" system that plagues everything.

Neobond said,
The game app requests are the most annoying! I haven't blocked friends sending requests, because that block is for everything, not just game apps. Blocking one app at a time just doesn't work.

If these are really 'friends' tell them to stop spamming you with requests. I'm not sure, but I think there's a way you can shut off all game/app invites.

Neobond said,
The game app requests are the most annoying! I haven't blocked friends sending requests, because that block is for everything, not just game apps. Blocking one app at a time just doesn't work.

I'm pretty brutal. If people waste my time with game invites and trivia challenges then I block all requests from them. If they want to communicate with me then they can use the messaging system.

I just ignore app requests, and block all app requests from certain people who don't stop. (which is very few anyway) I routinely go in every few weeks to clean them out, but it really doesn't bother me as much as it used to anymore.

Though maybe I don't use the apps enough like you guys do.

Edit - By ignore, I mean don't pay attention to the little number next to "App Requests" lol.

What annoys me most about Facebook is how unreliable the website is. I get errors all the time, and photos mostly just don't load at all. The Android app is horrible, notifications are completely useless, it's slow and it spasms out all the time.

I'd move to Google+ right away if my friends would move with me. Unfortunately, they won't.

Ambroos said,
What annoys me most about Facebook is how unreliable the website is. I get errors all the time, and photos mostly just don't load at all. The Android app is horrible, notifications are completely useless, it's slow and it spasms out all the time.

I'd move to Google+ right away if my friends would move with me. Unfortunately, they won't.

Using Chrome? Facebook doesn't play well with Chrome at all, since the switch to Firefox had no issues at all with Facebook!

Ambroos said,
What annoys me most about Facebook is how unreliable the website is. I get errors all the time, and photos mostly just don't load at all. The Android app is horrible, notifications are completely useless, it's slow and it spasms out all the time.

I'd move to Google+ right away if my friends would move with me. Unfortunately, they won't.


Honestly, what are you running and what is it running on? I'm on Vista, 7, 8RP, WP7.5. I use IE9(10)/FF/Chrome on the desktop. I never get errors or missing images. If I ever see any problems with their site it seems to me more of a caching issue on their clusters if I had to guess. But never script errors or missing/jumbled content.

SuperKid said,
Using Chrome? Facebook doesn't play well with Chrome at all, since the switch to Firefox had no issues at all with Facebook!

I use Chrome and haven't noticed any issues. I'd be very surprised if Facebook had known compatibility issues with Chrome considering it's the most used browser on the web.

That said, the mobile client is pretty terrible.

Not a fan of the mobile client, but that has mostly to do with navigation.

Also, I run Chrome in dev mode and never do I have issues with Facebook. Get roughly 30+ notifications a day, utilize the chat at least once a day, and so forth.