Facebook ranks low among social media websites when it comes to consumer satisfaction, but remains the dominant platform for the majority of users, according to a new report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index and ForeSee Results.
The ASCI, founded at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, draws on interviews with about 70,000 consumers annually to measure satisfaction with more than 225 companies in 47 industries.
The index focuses on e-business, which ForeSee Results divided into three categories: social media websites, search engines and portals, and news websites. Sixteen websites were evaluated, including Facebook, Wikipedia, Google and CNN.
According to the results, overall customer satisfaction with social media sites was unchanged from last year at an aggregate score of 70 out of 100. A number above 80 is considered excellent. Social media is a low-scoring category when compared with other industries, with just three categories - airlines, cable television and print newspapers - ranking lower.
Facebook was the lowest-scoring social media site measured individually in the latest report, with a score of 66, up two points from 2010.
"We take user feedback seriously and strive to create a simple, fast and innovative service that enables people to connect with their friends in a safe environment,'' Facebook said in a statement responding to the ASCI results. "More than half of our users visit Facebook every day, and we're constantly enhancing our products to offer people the best possible experience.''
The other social media sites measured in the ASCI were Wikipedia and YouTube. MySpace, which was included last year, dropped from the list in 2011 because its sample size of users was too small to be statistically reliable.
In the report, ForeSee Results Chief Executive Larry Freed noted that with 750 million active users and counting, Facebook is still the social network of choice for most. He also highlighted the company's slight increase on the ASCI from last year.
"It shows that the social media giant may be moving in the right direction, albeit very slowly,'' Freed wrote. "Facebook is clearly king right now, but if anyone can knock it off its throne, it would be Google.''
Google was categorised under search engines and portals, rather than social media. It led its category with a score of 83.
Data for the latest study were collected before the launch of Google+, the search giant's suite of social networking features. Google+ could be included in next year's survey if usage is high enough.
"If Google can carry over their customer-centric ethos to Google+, Facebook could have serious competition that has the potential to very quickly erode its market share,'' Freed wrote.