This year, for the first time ever, the American Customer Satisfaction Index measured a few "newer" social networks (or, more simply, networks that aren't Facebook). This included Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.
And what do you know, Google+ shined. Call it beginners luck, but out of all social media sites included in the survey, Google+ scored the highest marks for customer satisfaction with an ACSI score of 78.
By comparison, Facebook's score for 2012 was a whole 17 points lower at 61. Twitter didn't perform particularly well either, scoring a 64 on the 1-100 scale.
Facebook actually dropped 5 points, or 7.6% from 2011. In the ACSI commentary, they blame the unpopularity (among some users) of the Timeline for Facebook's drop in satisfaction:
Facebook’s drop coincides with the release of its Timeline profile, a significant change to the look and organization of its pages. Users complain that they cannot opt out of the new profile design. The big drop in user satisfaction—coming on the heels of Facebook’s somewhat disorderly IPO—doesn’t bode well for reversing the company’s sliding stock price.
Of course, stuff like privacy concerns & advertisements fatigue are commonly complained about among the Facebook user base. ACSI suggests that privacy concerns and the use of personal information are two of the reasons why "social media" in general scored one of the lowest satisfaction numbers of all industries (69). They say that only airlines, TV subscription companies, and newspapers have lower scores for 2012.
But back to Google+, the social network that has been declared dead more times that Justin Bieber on Twitter. Despite "Google+ is a ghost town" being the set up for an easy joke, it's clear that the Google+ faithful are just that - a faithful bunch. And even if the network doesn't have near the user volume of Facebook or even Twitter, it appears that those who are actually using the service are pretty pleased with it.
What were people pleased with, according to the ACSI? Apparently, Google+ received higher marks for its protection of user privacy, lack of traditional ads, and its inarguably superior mobile presence.[via Marketing Land]