The American Consumer Satisfaction Index has been looking at how consumers react to social media websites, and ranked Facebook with such a low score that some analysts have labeled its trustworthiness as “abysmally low.”
ForSee Results is behind the study, and noted that while other social sites ranked pretty poorly in terms of consumer satisfaction, Facebook in particular ranked near the bottom of the list. While MySpace also ranked low, it ranked close to Facebook–which immediately strikes us as odd: Facebook is nearing 500 million users, and though it’s certainly upset many industry commentators and members of the public with some of its recent shenanigans about user privacy and what constitutes personal versus public data, it’s not upset enough people to put a dent in its user growth. Meanwhile MySpace has been shedding users by the ton, and has had to plan extensive UI revamps in order to make itself appealing again.
ForSee’s data also revealed that consumers don’t use Facebook or other media sites for product recommendation purposes and generally don’t purchase things as a result of posts on these sites. That news will be a slap in the face for the many companies that interact with their clients through Facebook fan pages or Twitter conversations.
Meanwhile, the analysis conclusions about why Facebook’s success continues despite its shockingly low consumer satisfaction ratings will probably result in your eyebrows whizzing upwards. Facebook is, apparently, a monopoly–mainly thanks to the fact that it’s so popular, and if you want to interact with your friends then you generally have to use Facebook instead of another system. The average consumer is also happy to suffer Facebook’s inadequacies in order to enjoy its benefits, and that younger members of the public have a more relaxed attitude to privacy … which may drive its popularity somewhat.
Is this indicative of a poor assessment mechanism for “consumer satisfaction,” as much as it is a measure of Facebook’s failings? Just possibly. Are you deeply unsatisfied and untrusting of Facebook … or are significant numbers of your friends?
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