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Google+ Satisfies While Facebook Slides

Google+ doing better than Facebook in pleasing users, American Customer Satisfaction Index report says.

5 Social Networks To Achieve 10 Business Tasks
5 Social Networks To Achieve 10 Business Tasks
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Google+ has taken the lead in user satisfaction among social networks, according to a survey released Tuesday, while rival Facebook has set a new record-low score.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business Report, released in conjunction with customer experience analytics firm ForeSee, showed Google+ gaining ground in customer satisfaction while Facebook moved in the opposite direction.

Google+, the social network that Google launched only a year ago, scored 78 on a 100-point scale. Google in June said Google+ has reached 250 million registered users, 150 million monthly users, and 75 million daily active users. In February, Facebook claimed in its prospectus to have over 845 million monthly users and over 425 million daily active users.

ACSI's analysis suggested that Google+ has benefited from an appealing mobile app and integration with popular Google services like Search, YouTube, and Gmail. "In addition, the Google+ social network is not inundated with the kind of advertising that seems to irritate many Facebook and other social media users," the organization said.

[ Read Yahoo's Coup: Marissa Mayer Now CEO. ]

Among all the industry sectors surveyed, the highest score this year was 82, for FedEx's consumer shipping service. The highest score of all time, 87, was recorded last year for credit unions, a likely consequence of dissatisfaction with large banks and rising fees.

Facebook scored 61, a decline of five points, almost 8%, from its 2011 rating and significantly more than the overall 1.4% decline in satisfaction with social media. ACSI attributed Facebook's fall to ongoing privacy concerns, excessive advertising, and design changes.

"Facebook's drop coincides with the release of its Timeline profile, a significant change to the look and organization of its pages," the organization said. "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."

At the same time, ACSI suggested that Facebook may not feel much impact from displeasing its users because there's no rival of comparable size and because the switching costs, in terms of user time and energy, are too high.

Three social networking sites debuted in the ACSI rankings this year: Pinterest (69), LinkedIn (63), and Twitter (64). The average score for the social media category is 69.

The ACSI findings aren't all good news for Google. While Google Search scored an impressive 82 in customer satisfaction, Microsoft's Bing came in right behind it at 81. Google isn't likely to lose customers because they're quite happy with Google Search, but if Google slips up, Microsoft's Bing appears to be ready to make gains.

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Mike Hosley
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Mike Hosley,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/20/2012 | 2:51:52 AM
re: Google+ Satisfies While Facebook Slides
People are accustomed to trusting Google with email, and getting what they need when they pose a search problem. The search problems are about 5 to 10% solved at the current state of search, and an entire generation of young people have now been using google for 15 years, and in the business marketplace, millions are using Google Apps in the enterprise.
All this adds up to long term companionship and trust, and granular, easy to use control of your circles of contacts. In short, there's a reason people monetize using Google- the Zero Moment of Truth- or search ads that are presented while you are looking for a solution to a search problem, as opposed to when you seek to be entertained by party pics, like Facebook is doing- it's simply not a good time to reach people with ads.
Deb Donston-Miller
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Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/18/2012 | 4:14:02 PM
re: Google+ Satisfies While Facebook Slides
I agree with you about the consumer neglect piece. (I might not have used that word, but it does seem to fit, lately.) What Facebook needs to remember is that without the users, advertisers will be promoting themselves to no one, which does not seem like a sustainable model.

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
Arman Nobari
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Arman Nobari,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/18/2012 | 2:48:14 PM
re: Google+ Satisfies While Facebook Slides
It comes down to one major factor in "winning" users for social networks (or any free service): Make them happy. If you're more willing to take user feedback and design around it, provide a more robust experience, or make it seem like they're just advertising targets less (or any combination of the three), then you've done a good job.

Facebook is a powerhouse when it comes to reaching people with advertising, there's no doubt about that. However, as far as "lasting" social networks go, I don't see it a decade from now. For example, away from a computer I don't even use Facebook because the mobile experience is so abysmal - instead I use Google+. Not this fact, but this observation of consumer neglect is what's perplexing to me. With all the money in the world, you wouldn't want to improve the one facet of your social network that allows people to use your product 24/7 no matter where they are?
Deb Donston-Miller
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Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/18/2012 | 10:06:46 AM
re: Google+ Satisfies While Facebook Slides
Plus, Google+'s iPad app is really good.
Deb Donston-Miller
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Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/18/2012 | 10:05:32 AM
re: Google+ Satisfies While Facebook Slides
I heard an analyst speaking about the costs of "switching" from Facebook--he put them at $0 and noted that, when it comes to social networking, users are accustomed to moving to whatever the next big thing is. I am so not surprised by Facebook falling and Google+ rising. I think that companies taking advantage of Facebook's marketing potential has ended up filling user's news feeds with promotion at the cost of the personal posts that made Facebook so appealing in the first place.

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
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