July 17, 2012 at 1:01 PM ET
Facebook received the lowest ranking of social media sites when it comes to customer satisfaction, as well as the lowest rank for e-businesses, according to a study released Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
The social network's "unrivaled user base is impressive, but its satisfaction ratings are not. Facebook falls 8 percent to 61 (on a scale of 100), one of the lowest scores of any company in the Index," said the ACSI report.
Facebook also set a "new record-low score for e-business," and was "among the five lowest-scoringcompanies of the 230 measured by the ACSI." The report is based on more than 5,000 surveys collected during the 2nd quarter, and includes scores for e-business websites and analysis by customer experience analytics firm ForeSee, ACSI¹s partner for the E-Business Report.
"One problem for Facebook is that survey respondents say that ads actively interfere with their experience on the site and are among the things they like least about Facebook," the ACSI report said. Relative newcomer Google+ "debuts on top of the social media category with a score of 78, but there are no ads on Google+."
Facebook, in a statement to NBC News about the findings, said "We care deeply about the experience people have on Facebook and that's why we're so focused on building and improving the products we offer. Giving people the means to interact with the people when they want, where they want and how they want is the most meaningful way for us to make our relationship with people even stronger."
The strengths of Google+ "may be Facebook’s weaknesses, as users complain about ads and privacy concerns. However, the most frequent complaints about Facebook are changes to its user interface, most recently the introduction of the Timeline feature," the ACIS said.
Among other popular social media sites, Pinterest, with a score of 69, "has the potential to be an advertiser or marketer's dream," the ACIS report said. "It has a very active and engaged user base, but a score of 69 suggests there is room for improvement."
Twitter had a score of 64, and professional social networking site LinkedIn was rated at 63.
Wikipedia tied Google+ at 78 "to lead the category for a third straight year," the ACIS. Google’s other social media property, YouTube, slips a point to 73, but still scores above the social media category average of 69.
Larry Freed, ForeSee president and CEO, said in a statement that Facebook and Google+ are competing "on two critical fronts: customer experience and market penetration. Google+ handily wins the former, and Facebook handily wins the latter, for now."
But, he said, he expects Google to "leverage its multiple properties and mobile capabilities to attract users at a rapid pace. If Facebook doesn’t feel the pressure to improve customer satisfaction now, that may soon change."