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Facebook User Satisfaction Is 'Abysmal'

kdawson posted about 4 years ago | from the users-aren't-their-customers dept.

Social Networks 289

adeelarshad82 writes "American Customer Satisfaction Index recently conducted a survey in which they found that even though Facebook is gaining popularity, they are doing a miserable job of keeping their users satisfied. According to the survey Facebook scored 64 out of 100 for customer satisfaction, which puts the website in line with the satisfaction rates for airlines and cable companies. The survey also includes other websites like YouTube and Wikipedia (which scored considerably higher) and MySpace, which came in slightly lower. (The survey did not include Twitter since many of its members access the site through third-party sites rather than Twitter.com.) The ACSI was founded at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, and is based on annual interviews with about 70,000 customers. The group has measured portals and search engines in the past, as well as news and information websites, but this is the first year the ACSI included social networking sites." UM professor Claes Fornell blogged: "Controversies over privacy issues, frequent changes to user interfaces, and increasing commercialization have positioned the big social networking sites at satisfaction levels well below other Web sites..."

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289 comments

Bottom 5% with Cable and Airlines (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 4 years ago | (#32968732)

Reported on this five hours before the one they selected [slashdot.org] but, meh, you win some you lose some. Anyway, in case anyone's interested in more numbers:

A new report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has put Facebook just above the taxman [wsj.com] on America's lists. Out of 30 online companies, the two absolute worst were MySpace with 63 out of 100 and Facebook at 64 but other high scoring sites included Wikipedia (77) and YouTube (73). Unsurprisingly the report reveals that of the 233 companies they monitor year round, MySpace and Facebook are in the bottom 5% for customer satisfaction. That puts them with airlines and cable companies--two historically low ranked industries of customer satisfaction. You can see a brief overview [theacsi.org] of the scores and also note that on search engines, Bing hits 77 just behind Google at 80 for customer satisfaction. The full report with an overview of why consumers were satisfied or dissatisfied with each site can be found here in PDF [foreseeresults.com] .

Seriously, MySpace and Facebook are down there with cable companies and airlines. And their service is (on the surface) free. Must be doing a terrible job.

UM professor Claes Fornell blogged: "Controversies over privacy issues, frequent changes to user interfaces, and increasing commercialization have positioned the big social networking sites at satisfaction levels well below other Web sites..."

Oh, if only it ended there--he missed news feed control problems, advertising, spam, navigation issues and annoying applications. From the actual report:

When asked what they like least about Facebook, survey respondents gave answers including privacy and security concerns, the technology that controls the news feeds, advertising, the constant and unpredictable interface changes, spam, navigation troubles, annoying applications with constant notifications, and functionality, to name a few. There is no shortage of complaints about Facebook.

Re:Bottom 5% with Cable and Airlines (0)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | about 4 years ago | (#32968800)

And yet EVERYONE uses it anyway. They must like something about it.

I think it's great. Of course I don't run ANY apps and I use Adblock.

Re:Bottom 5% with Cable and Airlines (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#32968838)

And yet EVERYONE uses it anyway.

"Everyone"?

Re:Bottom 5% with Cable and Airlines (2, Informative)

Tikkun (992269) | about 4 years ago | (#32969060)

"Everyone"?

In the same sense that and for similar reasons why, "everyone" uses Windows on the desktop: Network effects [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Bottom 5% with Cable and Airlines (2, Insightful)

umghhh (965931) | about 4 years ago | (#32969456)

we may also need to state what 'use' means - I 'use' it because I was silly enough to make an account. I was annoyed enough not to frequent this site because of issues as in FA and because if I want to mail with my friends I do it with mail, if I want to talk with them I do it off line, etc etc. There was only one exception when I found it useful as I could keep contact with an old friend but that was offset by negative experiences of which one overwhelms all the others: software quality. Maybe because I worked in QA for years or maybe this is a flaw in my character (and reason I spent so many years in QA...) but when I see crappy till not usable interfaces I get annoyed. The bottom line: FB is in my eyes a waste of time. At /. at least we have working (most of the time) interfaces. I think popularity of FB says something about society and it is not a nice thing at all.....

Re:Bottom 5% with Cable and Airlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969594)

Parent is short, but mod it up. Network effects explain the high use of facebook in the face of low customer satisfaction. Network effects result in a low-competition situation similar to a monopoly here.

TFA mentions cable and airlines as historically low-ranking, but it's important to realize that those two industries, with relatively low competition and high levels of tacit collusion, are merely acting in a rational way in response to the market, as is facebook. Consumers are forced to buy from a specific provider or one of a small set of oligopolists, so the choice is between a poorly-run, inefficient company or no service at all. When the price is opaque (as with airline fares+fees or facebook's extraction of value from 'private' data), it's even more difficult to compete on things consumers actually value. This is great for the companies, bad for consumers, and it's why we have institutions like the FTC.

Fortunately,we can expect some competition for facebook as long as network neutrality prevents them from owning or colluding with the firms who control our infrastructure in some way designed to eliminate choice and the possibility of competitors (or, barring that, we can hope antitrust law keeps this market, like most, relatively well-functioning).

Right, It's the Most Popular Website in the USA (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 4 years ago | (#32968848)

And yet EVERYONE uses it anyway. They must like something about it. I think it's great. Of course I don't run ANY apps and I use Adblock.

Right, the same report says:

However, according to July 2010 Hitwise data, Facebook is the number one website in the country, with 9% of all website visits (Google has 7.4% and Yahoo! 3.8%) and 55% of all social media visits. Facebook’s market dominance in the U.S. and around the world is indisputable. How can it be so popular if people dislike it so much?

They go on to point out Facebook's monopoly and its popularity being more with younger people while older people complain about it the most. There's little loyalty but it acts as a storehouse for existing videos and pictures well. Then I think this is the most telling piece of this paradox:

Customers are willing to suffer through a poor experience in return for the benefits Facebook provides. This is a rare scenario in the American economy: usually customer satisfaction is intertwined with market success. The few exceptions to this rule (airlines, cable companies, and fast food) are operating in a sphere where there are no true standouts, so the bar is low. Should MySpace stage a comeback, or should any other competitor to Facebook deliver a truly superior customer experience, Facebook should have cause for concern. Right now, only Wikipedia and YouTube surpass Facebook in terms of customer satisfaction, and they are not in direct competition.

Interesting stuff to consider for social sites. If Facebook users are so unhappy, could you build a better Facebook that grabs their images and videos off of Facebook and moves their friend network for them? I don't think Facebook would stand for it long but it's interesting to consider.

Re:Right, It's the Most Popular Website in the USA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32968934)

You can be sure a sizable portion of that FB traffic is crap games like Mafia wars and Farmville. The things all the stay-at-home moms play all day every day with their 2000 "friends". Soon to be owned by Google *shudders*.

Re:Bottom 5% with Cable and Airlines (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 4 years ago | (#32968936)

Maybe most facebook users are too busy playing farmville or whatever to do their survey?

Re:Bottom 5% with Cable and Airlines (1)

Conchobair (1648793) | about 4 years ago | (#32969560)

I am proud to say I do not use facebook.

Re:Bottom 5% with Cable and Airlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969470)

What I want to know is, how did they control for the fact that Facebook users are RETARDED [readwriteweb.com] ?

2000+ comments that couldn't tell the difference between a blog and the Facebook login page. Can you imagine what you'd think if 2000 people showed up at your door and were irate that it wasn't a bank?

Comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32968756)

i like it

That's good right? (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about 4 years ago | (#32968760)

If the user's ever satisfied, he'll stop clicking. Keeping satisfaction one click away seems to be Facebook's entire business model.

Re:That's good right? (2, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 4 years ago | (#32968814)

sounds like software in general.... want a working feature.. that'll be in the next version that you'll want to upgrade to.

Re:That's good right? (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about 4 years ago | (#32968876)

If the user's ever satisfied, he'll stop clicking.

Hmmm... I always thought: "If you keep users happy, they'll come back for more!". But maybe that's just old-fashioned.

Re:That's good right? (3, Interesting)

Voyager529 (1363959) | about 4 years ago | (#32969564)

The issue is that in the good ol' days, there was much less lock-in. To a certain extent, that's true as well. If a waitress is rude to me at Applebees, I won't eat there anymore. If a can of soup is not to my liking, I'll purchase a different brand. If my web hosting company treats me poorly, I'll switch to another provider. In these cases, one pays directly for a service with no intertia to overcome.

By contrast, Facebook is where all of my friends are. Its private messaging function has largely replaced personal e-mail. My cell phone integrates seamlessly with Facebook and automatically updates their status, their photo, and their birthday in my calendar (as well as any events that I RSVP as attending). There are people with whom the only method of communication I have with them is through Facebook.

In Facebook's defense, they solved a LOT of problems that Myspace had in its heydey. From simple things like requiring real names instead of handles to display to people ('cuz x0x0LaTiNaLoVeRx0x with a picture of a palm tree makes perfect sense to me), to issues with spam (I constantly got friend requests and messages from "18 and have a webcam" chiqs, rare if ever on FB), to not allowing custom HTML (have you seen some of the God-awful crap that people cut-and-pasted together? half the pages there took forever to load and looked like someone swalllowed all of Geocities and Xanga and vomited it onto a web server) to just a general community shift from being who you want people to think you are and begging for comments to just putting out there who you are and not having arguments over whether you're in someone's top 8 or not. It was really only a matter of time before the holes in Facebook's systems were exploited.

Privacy issues are just inherent with giving a company - be it Facebook, Google, Microsoft, or whoever - the amount of personal data a typical Facebook page contains. I wonder how many people complaining about the security being slowly relaxed over time have actually made specifications as to what they want, or whether they have their own profiles on the defaults.

The thing that irks me the most about Facebook with regards to privacy was how they defaulted to making your info available to basically everyone. Targeted ads within Facebook are one thing - bandwidth isn't free, and neither is hard disk space. I, for one, don't mind targeted ads. I'd much rather see an ad for the new Above and Beyond album than for Kotex. I do have an issue when I post a status update regarding owning an HTC phone, and suddenly half the banner ads on the websites I visit thereafter involve the latest HTC gear. That's just plain creepy, and yes, I turned it off once I realized that it was there.

In summary, having users come back when they're happy is still accurate, except in cases when there is lock-in (cell phone numbers, e-mail addresses, Facebook accounts, heck even MS Windows [for those of us with substantial hardware/software investments]). By its nature, Facebook will remain the de facto standard for social networking until they both royally screw up AND have a viable competitor ready to catch their fall.

Re:That's good right? (2, Interesting)

Jorl17 (1716772) | about 4 years ago | (#32968900)

User: I ain't clickin' ye
Facebook: Yesssssss....yessss you AAAARE.

Doesn't seem likely.

Re:That's good right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32968988)

Not satisfied as in wtf my chat disappeared and I can't talk to my friend.

Satisfaction Is 'Abysmal' (-1)

0racle (667029) | about 4 years ago | (#32968762)

There's pictures and whatnot to help prevent you from hooking up with the wrong person over Facebook. Users have no one to blame but themselves.

Re:Satisfaction Is 'Abysmal' (2, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | about 4 years ago | (#32969604)

Don't you remember that microsoft kin (wonder what their satisfaction is) ad about the creepy stalker girl that tries to hook up with someone only to find out he's twice as old as she thought?

The point isn't that people post less than accurate pictures (though they do), the point is that crazy stalkers will track you down for a "surprise hookup". Fortunately, you can make the slashdot idle section if you update your facebook status to "is being raped by a crazy stalker".

Facebook already knows their users are unhappy (1)

wandazulu (265281) | about 4 years ago | (#32968774)

The question is whether they'd sell that information...Google perhaps?

Yeah, but (3, Funny)

halestock (1750226) | about 4 years ago | (#32968786)

does that include those who are dissatisfied because their parents added them as a friend?

Re:Yeah, but (4, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#32968970)

Yeah, it makes me wonder what people would respond as their satisfaction level of the world. Ask people, "Do you find yourself satisfied with your relationships with other people, or do you wish you had cooler friends? Do you like your job, or do you find it is more like work?" If Facebook is an attempt to map reality, then the closer it gets, the less likely people may be to be satisfied with it.

Look beyond that! It's a religious principle. The first noble truth of Buddhism, sometimes translated: "Life is filled with a deep sense of unsatisfaction." It's Facebook against Buddha.

Cable companies on the other hand have no excuse. There's no religious principle that says, "thou shalt overcharge for misrepresented crappy services." They are going to hell.

Re:Yeah, but (3, Funny)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 4 years ago | (#32969258)

Do you find yourself satisfied with your relationships with other people,

What is this "relationship" of which you speak? I am fascinated by this concept; please subscribe me to your newsletter.

or do you wish you had cooler friends?

What is this "friends" of which you speak? Do you cover this topic in your newsletter?

Re:Yeah, but (1)

vlm (69642) | about 4 years ago | (#32969334)

If Facebook is an attempt to map reality,

Then most people either want to be peasant farmers or mafia bosses?

The weird part is, that may be true!

Re:Yeah, but (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#32969462)

Yeah, the sad reality is that most people live incredibly boring lives (I mean, look at me, I'm posting on Slashdot). When your idea of excitement is going out and getting drunk, which is basically a way to escape reality, you know something is wrong. That matches a lot of people. A good portion of the rest stay home and pop pain-killers.

Life is so much more exciting when you are doing things. Even if it is just planting a seed and watching it grow. I guarantee Linus Torvalds has a much more interesting and exciting life than Lindsay Lohan, even though hers is more what is traditionally considered wild.

Re:Yeah, but (1)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | about 4 years ago | (#32969520)

Then most people either want to be peasant farmers or mafia bosses?

And if there's overlap - free fertilizer! Woot!

Re:Yeah, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969528)

I am a mafia boss you insensitive clod.

Re:Yeah, but (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 4 years ago | (#32969350)

I stopped watching TV on my TV, and ... my satisfaction is up 100% over last year when I had Cable.

High Speed Internet provides a better experience for me. Between things like HULU and NETFLIX ... I get most of what I want, when I want it.

I do miss a few things here and there, but not a whole lot.

Re:Yeah, but (1)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | about 4 years ago | (#32969578)

+1
I had occasion to watch cable the other day at my parents' place. Felt like I'd left a quiet poolroom and entered a Chuck'e'Cheese (however that's spelled). Gawd, all those LOUD and stupid ads. Even with mute, it's like they're clawing at the inside of my brain o.O

Re:Yeah, but (0)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | about 4 years ago | (#32969490)

The first noble truth of Buddhism, sometimes translated: "Life is filled with a deep sense of unsatisfaction."

I do wish religious groups would stop projecting their own failings on all of humanity (even though I admit that's a common psychological defense mechanism). I am quite satisfied with my life thankyouverymuch. I'm not entirely happy but that's a small price to pay for satisfaction and I imagine there's lots of people like that in the world.

Re:Yeah, but (2, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#32969610)

In this case it's more likely a problem with your own understanding of the statement than it is with the original statement. You should attempt to understand before you throw out wild criticisms of one of the world's oldest philosophies; it has survived for a reason.

You are right though, in the modern consumerist society, satisfaction is easily found at the touch of a button or injection of a drug.

Sense of entitlement much? (2, Informative)

brian0918 (638904) | about 4 years ago | (#32968802)

For something that's free, people sure do get enraged when it changes in the slightest, or has bugs, or decides to try to profit from the information that people love to dump on it.

Re:Sense of entitlement much? (5, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 4 years ago | (#32968908)

Or publicizes information that you specifically told them to keep private.

Re:Sense of entitlement much? (0)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 4 years ago | (#32969466)

Or publicizes information that you specifically told them to keep private.

...that you willingly gave to them, knowing it is virtually impossible and totally unrealistic to assume it will remain private.

Re:Sense of entitlement much? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969508)

Is it virtually impossible and totally unrealistic to assume that Google will keep my Gmail contact list private?

Re:Sense of entitlement much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969014)

Users would revolt if Google was found selling and publishing Gmail contact lists to the world. I can have an expectation of maintaining a private list of contacts in email, why is it so fucking tough and/or mocked to have such a desire on FB? Demanding bounds on the data even though it's willingly put in the cloud is not unreasonable.

Re:Sense of entitlement much? (3, Insightful)

Len (89493) | about 4 years ago | (#32969024)

Facebook has repeatedly changed their policies to publish various data that they had said was private or friends-only. But hey, no problem, they didn't charge money when they screwed people over so it's OK!

Uh, no, it's not OK.

Re:Sense of entitlement much? (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 4 years ago | (#32969116)

So you don't think that users would get mad if the information FB said would be private suddenly became public? What if on a forum the e-mail address you had hidden suddenly became public and they sold that to spammers? Its essentially the same thing with Facebook.

As for the changes, the vast majority of them were regressions simply change for the sake of changing. Yes, there -were- some great new features, namely the chat feature added in, but the "New Facebook"? It "fixed" bugs that didn't exist and added in whole hosts of other ones.

Re:Sense of entitlement much? (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 4 years ago | (#32969128)

For something that's free, people sure do get enraged when it changes in the slightest, or has bugs, or decides to try to profit from the information that people love to dump on it.

It's an equal exchange. Facebook as a corporation would go out of business in a hurry if not for its users. The users are doing their part. Facebook is failing to do theirs in a way that satisfies the very users who make its existence possible. It's perfectly legitimate to raise an objection about this.

You're essentially saying "shut up and take what you're given" as though Facebook were a charity. They absolutely are not, and it's intellectually dishonest to speak about them as though they were.

Re:Sense of entitlement much? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 4 years ago | (#32969600)

No, he's saying you're perfectly free to move along if you don't like it. Who the hell forces you to use facespace?

Re:Sense of entitlement much? (2)

selven (1556643) | about 4 years ago | (#32969144)

It's not free, nothing is. People still have to spend time creating and customizing their accounts. In their minds, this constitutes and investment just like any other, and they feel betrayed when the terms of the investment suddenly change.

Re:Sense of entitlement much? (4, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | about 4 years ago | (#32969160)

Actually, the problem is that like the cable industry, *Facebook* acts like it has a sense of entitlement. Once they had a critical mass and growth rate, they decided they could shit all over their users and the users wouldn't defect, leaving plenty of eyeballs to advertise to and freeing them to engage in short-term profit-maximizing behavior.

Sadly, many of these dissatisfied users keep using Facebook even though they know it sucks and they hate it.

Re:Sense of entitlement much? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 years ago | (#32969172)

For something that's free, people sure do get enraged when it changes in the slightest, or has bugs, or decides to try to profit from the information that people love to dump on it.

Well, if you promise one thing for free, then go changing it on people, yeah, that annoys them at least a little. They were expecting one thing and had their reasons for agreeing to it in the first place. Those expectations may have been ignorant, but you don't sign up for facebook -after- investigating their privacy policy, that's just not how normal people work.

Re:Sense of entitlement much? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 4 years ago | (#32969322)

Really, why don't they ask for their money back? Whiny bastards.

Hey Slashdot! Fix your stupid website!

Re:Sense of entitlement much? (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | about 4 years ago | (#32969438)

I suppose that's true to an extent, but frankly, there is a limit to how you can apply that logic. For me, I used to love using Myspace and I hated facebook (years ago). Myspace was lighter, simpler, and had more interesting bits to it. Since they were both free, I opted for Myspace and stuck with it. Then Myspace changed their UI, did some stuff that I still don't understand to their messaging system, and all around broke their website on my older hardware computers (yes, I intend to upgrade soon, but I shouldn't have to do so for a damned website). So, I became dissatisfied with a free service because the free service simply stopped working. If a website goes from loading promptly and successfully every time, to crashing my browser every time, then it is no longer working. So sure, Myspace was giving me something for free, a broken website.

So, I switched to Facebook. It wasn't the best in the world but it worked well enough and, as you said it was free. Well, some of their more recent changes significantly hinder my browsing experience. Their IM client spawns in random portions of my screen. It autologs me out every once in awhile, even when I am active. I lose more posts to /dev/null than I do on Slashdot. All in all, over the past 4 months, Facebook's changes have been slowly breaking the website. Eventually, I figure it will break entirely just like Myspace did. So again, is it free? Yes. Does it work? Not so much anymore.

So, in the end, yes, you get a free service. But if the service is so buggy it's broken then users will stop using it and rank it as a piece of crap. The same thing happens in the free software world. If a piece of software becomes so buggy it is too hard to get it to work efficiently, most people will just describe it as poor in quality and stop using it. If someone walked up to someone else on the street, and said, "Do you want this free iPod?" most people would say yes if there wasn't a catch involved. Then, if they took that free iPod, and turned it on, and it didn't play any music, they'd still call it garbage. Is that entitlement or just common sense? If someone offers to provide you something, even if it is free, there is a minimum level functionality to be expected. When this functionality does not exist, then the person receiving the service will say, "This is crap and I can't trust you to offer me free stuff anymore." That's not really entitlement, its just frustration at the dubious nature of some snake oil salesman.

So the moral of the story? Is Facebook free? Yes. Does that mean the users should not expect any functionality whatsoever? Not necessarily. But you can call the entitlement if you want.

API lousy, too (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32968810)

And, as a developer, I can say that their API is buggy and very poorly documented, by far the worst of any of the social networking or photo sharing sites I've worked with. My daughter reports that available iPhone/iPad apps are terrible, too.

Re:API lousy, too (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 4 years ago | (#32969492)

Worse than Myspace? If so, that's an interesting, developer-centric attitude. I can't find one person over the age of 14 who thinks Myspace is a better user experience than Facebook.

I'm surprised Twitter wasn't included. (1)

gcnaddict (841664) | about 4 years ago | (#32968812)

Twitter was not included because many of its members access the site through third-party sites rather than Twitter.com.

They're still subject to many hours of downtime per year. I'd still like to see what users think of the fail whale and other representations of Twitter's persistent capacity issues.

Re:I'm surprised Twitter wasn't included. (5, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | about 4 years ago | (#32968860)

Hey!

Twitter has 5 8's reliability.

That is only 1 less than the 5 9's that people keep raving about!

Re:I'm surprised Twitter wasn't included. (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#32968940)

Damnit, stop posting truly good stuff just after I run out of mod points!

I may have to steal that line very soon.

User satisfaction is irrelevant (5, Insightful)

NormalVisual (565491) | about 4 years ago | (#32968818)

Whether the users are happy or not doesn't mean squat to Facebook because their users aren't their customers. It's the happiness of their advertisers and those who purchase the data that Facebook continually mines that matters to them.

Re:User satisfaction is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32968874)

When I'm feeling bored, I log onto facebook and click the x on the adds on the right side, indicating I found the ad "offensive", they never seem to get the hint.

Re:User satisfaction is irrelevant (1)

quanticle (843097) | about 4 years ago | (#32968914)

Agreed. Users aren't the customers. They're the product.

Re:User satisfaction is irrelevant (2, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 4 years ago | (#32968930)

The users are the product that they are selling.

Re:User satisfaction is irrelevant (1)

cacba (1831766) | about 4 years ago | (#32968972)

Youtube loses money, yet it sold years ago. Existing income isnt the only consideration.

Re:User satisfaction is irrelevant (1)

gnarlyhotep (872433) | about 4 years ago | (#32969018)

User satisfaction is important, and that's what could end up busting Facebook at the bank. The users are their commodity. If they are unsatisfied and stop using the service (which they will when the next big-splash social site opens), Facebook finds itself with less and less value to offer their customers. Not concerning yourself with the users is a great model for a turn-and-burn, but not for sustaining a business. Zuckerberg comes off short sighted enough that he either doesn't get it, or doesn't care because he can cash out with a big sale before the critical event.

Re:User satisfaction is irrelevant (1)

causality (777677) | about 4 years ago | (#32969194)

If they are unsatisfied and stop using the service (which they will when the next big-splash social site opens), Facebook finds itself with less and less value to offer their customers.

If those users had any backbone then they'd do without a non-critical service before they'd use one that they don't like. And no, a vanity page is not a critical service that one could never live without. Because they have no such backbone, Facebook can collect revenue even when it does a terrible job.

Re:User satisfaction is irrelevant (1)

mycologistica (1517357) | about 4 years ago | (#32969028)

But the happiness of advertisers and those purchasing FB data depends on the extent to which FB users are on FB, which depends on whether FB users are satisfied with the service they are receiving. So, I would argue, it does come down to user satisfaction.

Re:User satisfaction is irrelevant (1)

batquux (323697) | about 4 years ago | (#32969168)

"64 out of 100"

Facebook for President!

Re:User satisfaction is irrelevant (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 years ago | (#32969262)

Whether the users are happy or not doesn't mean squat to Facebook because their users aren't their customers.

Until their users are so unhappy that they leave and their real customers immediately follow. Look at radio stations. They're in hard times because everyone is listening to their mp3s or internet radio, or something that doesn't have annoying DJs and ads. The fact that you don't pay radio as a customer is irrelevant.

You misunderstans - users aren't their customers (1, Redundant)

jfoobaz (1844794) | about 4 years ago | (#32968842)

Facebook's customers are people who pay for the advertising, and who get extensive ability to target ads to specific people based on demographic and other kinds of data that Facebook gets by mining users profiles and inter-connections. And I'd imagine that these customers are just fine with the seemingly constant changes in privacy rules and settings.

Re:You misunderstans - users aren't their customer (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#32968974)

Right. The users are the product.

I'm sure their customers are quite happy with them.

So is facebook losing users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32968846)

Is facebook just the least abysmal compared to all the other competitors and non-competitors.

I've never used it, so I don't get all the fuss, but how bad can it be when so many people are using it.

Don't like it. Start your own site.

Re:So is facebook losing users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969188)

Don't like it. Start your own site.

Wow. I didn't realize it was so simple.

Predictability (1)

causality (777677) | about 4 years ago | (#32968862)

The difference is that some of us were paying attention when Facebook first started catching on. How many negative stories does one require before they realize that this is a company which is not interested in its users?

Controversies over privacy issues, frequent changes to user interfaces, and increasing commercialization have positioned the big social networking sites at satisfaction levels well below other Web sites...

I'd add an item to that list: users who can't see the seeds of those things and must wait for the 50-foot tree to grow before they can identify it. This is despite repeated examples of other corporations that don't care about their users and customers, more than sufficient to learn what the pattern looks like and how to recognize it in advance. I don't believe the users are so stupid that they're incapable of realizing this. I believe that the "oooh shiny" effect of another trendy bandwagon and the indulgence of their vanity is more important to them than a quality experience, and thus overrides any reasoning they may have performed. So, this is just water finding its own level.

For those who are perceptive, the fact that user satisfaction is so low but those same users continue to use the service tells you anything you might want to know.

Re:Predictability (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#32969440)

For those who are perceptive, the fact that user satisfaction is so low but those same users continue to use the service tells you anything you might want to know.

Yes, it actually says several things. Your contempt for the site and its users is quite obvious, and understandable enough. However, setting that aside - regardless of people's reasons for wanting to use a social site, there are a number of logical reasons why someone who wants to use one would choose Facebook despite its obvious shortcomings.

First and foremost, if you want to use a social site (leaving aside why), they are rather like Immortals, "in the end, there can be only one." People will only really want to use the social site where, well, there's a chance to socialize. That's rather the point. That means choosing the site where all the people they know are already members. And very few people are going to want to support more than one, possibly two if you're really into it, social sites at the same time.

Second, social sites provide a medium of communication that isn't really closely analogous to anything that has existed before. Yeah, it's "part" this and it's "like" that, but it's not really a new medium. It's a new type of communications medium. And, for some, a really compelling one. And Facebook's take on it is markedly different from, say, MySpace's attempt. Facebook mixed the right elements and ease-of-use at the right time. They weren't first, they weren't perfect, but they did it just well enough to attract critical mass - they attracted massive amounts of users just as the whole social site fad reached the mainstream.

People continue to use Facebook, warts and all, because it has no real competition in its niche. There are other social sites, for sure, but Facebook got it closer to "right" than anyone else earlier than anyone else managed to get something as useful, so they ended up with most of the users.

And there's obviously something to its niche that people feel is useful to them, or it wouldn't account for more traffic in the US than any other web site. I don't see the concept of socialization over the Internet going away any time soon, and Facebook sure provides a great way to maintain an online community.

Eventually, they will probably be unseated, but it's going to take a lot of effort for someone to knock Favebook off the throne it currently occupies. The new site is going to have to be compelling enough to get people to exit Facebook pretty much en masse and convince most of their friends to come along. Facebook's parent company makes a LOT of money through advertising, and they are a bit of a juggernaut at the moment, so there aren't many sites that would dare face off with them.

And anyone with the resources to become a serious contender is going to be in it to make money, so it's doubtful that the privacy issues will go away, so even privacy-minded folk will have little reason to move.

A small reminder (4, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 4 years ago | (#32968894)

You get what you pay for

Re:A small reminder (1)

kindbud (90044) | about 4 years ago | (#32969106)

Facebook's users are what's being sold here, let's not kid ourselves.

Re:A small reminder (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#32969302)

You get what you pay for

Oh boy! Have I got the perfect bridge for you! *twirls mustache*

Re:A small reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969308)

Yea. For example, on Wikipedia you don't even pay with your privacy and by the site selling cycles of your attention to advertisers and their score is... er. really good actually.

Somehow I don't think it has anything to do with what you pay. Wikipedia is created for _your_ benefit. Facebook is run for the benefit of large corporations and _it shows_.

Joey (1)

Itninja (937614) | about 4 years ago | (#32968904)

"Man, this is bad! And I've had my share of bad reviews. I still remember my first good one though. 'Everything else in this production of Our Town was simply terrible. Joey Tribbiani was abysmal.'"

If it's not a quote, it should be. (2, Interesting)

Caerdwyn (829058) | about 4 years ago | (#32968918)

"Customer satisfaction is a thing of the past. They should get over it."

well firts thoughts... (5, Interesting)

eexaa (1252378) | about 4 years ago | (#32968946)

It took around 10 seconds to shoot down standard army targetting dummy.

If the laser tower can target the pilot in classical manned aircraft (and I bet it can), it's done in less than a second, even from quite far away.

In result, aircraft with any tranlucent windows seem totally unusuable for combat now.

Re:well firts thoughts... (1, Funny)

eexaa (1252378) | about 4 years ago | (#32968980)

oh holy god. I posted it to wrong discussion. please ignore me. :D

Re:well firts thoughts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969292)

Laser targeting Facebook: I think he may be onto something.

Re:well firts thoughts... (5, Funny)

selven (1556643) | about 4 years ago | (#32969196)

Is this some kind of Farmville mod? Cause that might make that game actually interesting.

not sure i understand (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | about 4 years ago | (#32968986)

user satisfaction for a free product? don't get me wrong, i personally don't like the idea of facebook.
but face the facts: their purpose is to have many users, and they're getting more and more users.
do these people with the survey provide any kind of insight into how their result means "people will leave facebook"?
by default, such a website can't possibly be "liked", because it needs to satisfy your granma and your cousin with the PhD who's doing research into AI. nobody can really like it, they're just using it because they can't find anything better.
and I think any facebook replacement will most likely be very facebook-like in everything except possibly the privacy stuff, because they'll be doing the same thing.

Re:not sure i understand (1)

vlm (69642) | about 4 years ago | (#32969260)

by default, such a website can't possibly be "liked", because it needs to satisfy your granma and your cousin with the PhD who's doing research into AI. nobody can really like it, they're just using it because they can't find anything better

In other words, "The internet is for pr0n"

Sometimes People Say More Than They Mean To (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32968998)

As Dr Johnson almost said, a black intellectual is like a dog walking on its hind legs: it’s not done well, but you’re surprised to find it done at all. One of Britain’s most prominent black intellectuals is Trevor Phillips, the Chair of the Commission for Triangular Squares and Flying Pigs – better known as the Commission for Racial Equality. If Phillips’ intelligence matched his self-regard and self-righteousness, he’d be pushing back the frontiers of physics or computer science somewhere. But he’s black and it doesn’t, which means that he sometimes says more than he means to.

He recently wrote an article for The Independent, one of Britain’s two big liberal newspapers, arguing for the economic benefits of mass immigration and describing a recent trip he had made to the United States and Canada. One city he visited was failing, another was flourishing, and he explained the difference using immigration. The failing city hadn’t been blessed by it, the flourishing city had. This is how he put it – see if you can spot the blatantly racist conclusion he drew without realizing it:

Immigration in North America is really about economics. I spent much of last week there, starting on the banks of the Mississippi. In the small, African-American district of East St Louis, the only businesses that thrive are fast-food outlets and beauty parlours; the tax base is so low that 80 per cent of the city’s education spending comes from federal handouts. By contrast the city in which I ended my trip, Vancouver, lies at the heart of a dazzling growth surge in western Canada. One thing above all accounts for the transformation of this Pacific coast backwater into an economic success story: immigration. Nearly half of those who live in the city centre are immigrants, among them over 300,000 Chinese and 200,000 Indians.

Did you spot it? That’s right: Trevor Phillips, black head of the British Commission for Racial Equality, was complaining in one of Britain’s big liberal newspapers about lazy, dumb, good-fer-nothing niggers. A city with lots of blacks fails, because blacks are lazy and stupid and just want to fill their guts fast and look good so they can get sex. But a city with lots of Chinese and Indians flourishes, according to Phillips, because they’re clever and materialistic and work hard for themselves and for their children. And what would happen if East St Louis got lots of Chinese and Indian immigrants? The blacks would still be lazy and stupid, but now they’d have two new groups to feel envy and resentment towards, and two new groups would learn to hate and despise blacks. Something similar will already be happening in Canada: Vancouver’s surface glitter will hide a lot of racial tension, and when that glitter fades, as it inevitably will, the racial tension is going to turn nasty.

That’s a part of why White nations don’t need Chinese and Indian immigrants. Even if they “help the economy” in the short term, it’s better to be poor and racially healthy than rich and racially diseased. We can survive on our own; we cannot survive in company with other races. What Phillips and other blacks are asking us to do is build our own funeral pyre, soak it in kerosene, and then hand them the matches. Phillips & Co are on the funeral pyre too and they’re going to go up with us when they strike the match, but they’re dumb niggers and don’t quite get that part.

The people pulling their strings aren’t dumb though. White nations never voted for mass immigration and with the exception of greedy, selfish businessmen, never wanted it. Only the small Jewish minority wanted it, but Jews aren’t stupid and they got what they wanted.

You can see them regularly gloating over their success in The Independent and The Guardian, the other big liberal paper in Britain. In the latter, one David Aaronovitch wrote of “the Joys of Diversity” and how he prefers the “quiet, paper-reading ethnicities” of his train-journey to work to the “exotic, incomprehensible” White racists of northern England, where the chickens of Muslim immigration are now coming home to roost. Another Jewish columnist on The Guardian, Jonathan Freedland, recently spent a month in South Africa. He’d campaigned hard during the 1980s to overthrow apartheid, and was naturally eager to see the fruits of his labors.

Alas, he didn’t find things in South Africa quite as rosy as he’d hoped and on his return to Britain he wrote a column saying so. But Freedland wasn’t worried about South Africa’s horrendous crime rate: the thousands of rapes and murders committed every year by lawless blacks against Whites and against each other. He wasn’t worried about the AIDS epidemic there, caused by black promiscuity and black stupidity. He wasn’t worried about corrupt black politicians cheating their own people and blaming all their problems on the legacy of apartheid. No, Freedland wasn’t worried about any of that. The burning question that occupied him during his stay in South Africa was this:

Would I see, at any point in nearly four weeks in the country, a white person serving a black person? I looked hard – at restaurants, at petrol stations, in bars, in shops, in banks. I never saw it. Not once. I looked at magazine covers and window-displays in clothing stores. White, white, white. Occasionally, there would be a token black face, usually very light-skinned.

“White, white, white,” wails Jew Freedland. Bad, bad, bad. But thanks to him and his fellow Jews, things are looking better and better in the formerly White nations of the world every day. Better for Jews, that is. For Whites, things are looking worse and worse, and they’re not going to look better again until We Get Rid of the Yid.

And like the cable companies... (2, Insightful)

spagthorpe (111133) | about 4 years ago | (#32969026)

Facebook is basically a monopoly in this space. No matter what the satisfaction rating, people will continue to use it, sometimes all freaking day. I would love to have a business "failing" this badly.

Re:And like the cable companies... (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 4 years ago | (#32969242)

There is a -huge- difference between Facebook and cable companies. Facebook is not an abusive monopoly like cable companies are. In general, cable companies use public land for private gain, many times going even far enough to forbid competition in a town so the town gains a cheaper rate for crappy service.

If everyone wanted to, they could move from Facebook to another social networking site very easily. Saying that Facebook is a monopoly is akin to saying Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and Gmail are monopolies, they are popular, but there isn't really much stopping me from going to a different email provider.

And people -have- moved social networking sites many, many, many times in the past. One only needs to look at Friendster and Myspace to see that. What Facebook has done that will make it hard to de-throne is that -everyone- has a Facebook, they have made it easy for not only teenagers to have an account but also middle aged people and the elderly, something that Friendster and Myspace failed to do.

It's "Free" (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 4 years ago | (#32969038)

I suspect that in general, consumers are willing to give up a lot in terms of quality for products which are 'free.' (Yeah, yeah, I know it's not 'really' free, users see ads, sell their privacy blah blah blah, but Joe Average user would consider FB 'free.')

If FB were to charge for their services it would be a different story. For example, I pay $25 per year for a flickr account. As a result, I have a much lower tolerance for quality issues with flickr than I do with facebook. Luckily, flickr issues are few and far between.

It was cool when I could use it to find everyone (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about 4 years ago | (#32969064)

But then I found everyone, and it's just a bunch of freaking noise. I use the system to allow extended family (and some friends) to see pictures of my kid. Beyond that, I've got no time for the bazillions of status updates from Zynga. I mean, why is my "news feed" full of notices about so-and-so hatching a unicorn egg or some BS?

It turns out that as cool as getting connected is, actually being connected kind of sucks.

Re:It was cool when I could use it to find everyon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969348)

It turns out that as cool as getting connected is, actually being connected kind of sucks.

After getting 'reconnected' I realized why I had let those connections lapse in the first place...

Re:It was cool when I could use it to find everyon (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 4 years ago | (#32969410)

What was cool about Facebook is I've been able to find all the folks I studied abroad with in Germany back in 2000 even though there were people from the US, UK, Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Turkey, etc.. It was kind of fun to see everyone ten years later and see what folks were up to and keep some type of tabs of people. It also helps because now if I need to get a work permit for the UK, that's what one of my friends from that program does now for living. That part of Facebook I enjoy. Also I like how it keeps track of peoples birthdays. Or at least how it used to as I'm too busy to keep track of that stuff. It used to be I could look at the lower right hand corner and see people with up coming birthdays not only for that day, but for 2 or 3 days in advanced. Which was handy because I could then send someone flowers or plan for a phone call to wish them a happy birthday.

Then suddenly in the last month (who knows maybe longer) that information was gone, moved and only shows birthdays for that day. I don't check Facebook every day and I've missed some peoples birthdays this year I'm sure. But that is the biggest problem with facebook, the interface changes too often. I don't know if you can customize the layout or not. I don't care enough. But I everytime they make a big change like that, I find myself logging in less and less.

Facebook users agree: Facebook sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969094)

Because hey, 500,000,000 users can't be wrong!

I am sorely disappointed (5, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 4 years ago | (#32969122)

I've been a FaceBook member for over a year now, and I haven't gotten laid even once!

fuck 4 Taco (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969164)

the reaper BSD's smells worse th4n a Share. *BSD is take a llok at the it will be among Unpleasant

Tangential rant: text when data is better (2, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | about 4 years ago | (#32969192)

This is a tangential rant, but I hate the way both of those links present the data. For some reason most journalists and even bloggers feel the need to "digest" data by putting it into paragraph prose, as if this makes it easier to understand. In many cases, it doesn't. TFA and the linked blog end up spending many, many sentences listing a bunch of numbers, which turns into a confusing narrative. What would be far more useful is a table or list of sites, along with their scores, put in order. They can highlight the entries they think are particularly interesting (e.g. Facebook), while allowing the reader to peruse the list and gain an immediate appreciation for the trends. They can then spend their sentences describing the context and meaning of the data, rather than just repeating numbers.

I see this time and again in news reports: they list statistics and numbers that they are clearly reading off of a list or graph, but don't let us actually see the graph! I appreciate that I may be more technically-minded than most, and may be more comfortable with graphs and ordered datasets than the average news reader. However I think anyone smart/educated enough to understand the point being made in a paragraph of statistics is better served by a simple and clean (but accurate) graph or ordered list.

Re:Tangential rant: text when data is better (3, Informative)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | about 4 years ago | (#32969338)

In order to address my concern, here is a list of all the scores that TFA and the blog post mention:

82 FoxNews.com (news)
80 Google (search)
77 Wikipedia
77 USAToday.com (news)
77 Microsoft Bing (search)
76 NYTimes.com (news)
76 Yahoo (search)
75 ABCNews.com (news)
75 MSN
74 MSNBC.com (news)
74 AOL
73 CNN.com (news)
73 Ask.com (search)
73 YouTube
66 Airlines
66 Subscription TV service
64 Facebook
63 MySpace

Re:Tangential rant: text when data is better (1)

Midnight's Shadow (1517137) | about 4 years ago | (#32969474)

Well to answer your question it is because tables and graphs are scary to those who aren't trained in their use. Kind of like equations. This isn't just a problem with journalists and blogs. I've seen it in academic papers where the data could be easily expressed with a table or a graph or even an equation, instead they waste a lot of space spewing the numbers out. Yes this is in scientific journals with biologists being the worst in my experience.

Re:Tangential rant: text when data is better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969478)

That's probably a legacy issue. When journalists were trained to work for print (as in -ing press) companies it was likely more cost effective to use text than anything else. And since the writer probably didn't know what the layout of the page containing their artical would be when they write they couldn't just fake it with spacing. As such they would use text to convey even information more efficiently included in a table.

Now, since young journalists are trained by older journalists, and the public is used to reading the sort of articals that journalists write, we're stuck with a situation where no one (public or journalists) realises that that method is outdated.

I want to "Like" this article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969216)

Why can't Slashdot get with it and have a "Like" button on stories and people's comments... this whole moderation thing hurts my brain. I just want "Like"
And to those people who want a "Dislike" button, then your a terrorist.

Re:I want to "Like" this article (1)

somaTh (1154199) | about 4 years ago | (#32969346)

Right, who would ever want to know WHY you like an article?

User Satisfaction is a horrible Metric. (3, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 4 years ago | (#32969412)

People are stupid. Their opinions are stupid and lousy indicators of a product's quality. YouTube users are more satisfied? Have you seen the user comments on YouTube? Have you ever been able to find something you need on YouTube hidden amongst the millions of complete time-waster outlets for any idiot with a camera?

People who like their stuff like their stuff, regardless of how good or bad it really is. Saying Facebook has bad user satisfaction is a byproduct of populist group-think: "I heard something about Facebook giving out my private information (that I willingly host on the Internet)...damn those bastards! But I'm not giving up my Facebook because it's too important to me!".

Seriously, if it so abysmal, stop using it. Not enough people have that sort of character, though. It's too easy to bitch about things without actually doing anything about it.

Did they ask the question the right way? (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#32969540)

I mean, a subtle change in wording of a question that means, "Do you like facebook?" and all you're finding out is that a lot of people don't like their friends or their own lives.

Better Option (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32969574)

I deal with the cable company because the only alternative is to drive to starbucks every time I want to use the internet.

I deal with the airlines because the only alternative is to drive 12 hours to get to my destination.

So apparently, 500 million people deal with facebook because the only alternative is to pick up a phone, and actually call their friends.

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