Although complaining about social media sites will probably remain our new national pastime, Americans are actually pretty happy with the platforms that dominate our online activity, according to the latest figures from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, based on its quarterly survey of 5,400 American consumers. Among other reasons, the improved rating was attributed to the rise of mobile apps -- which make social media sites easier to access -- and better, more reliable delivery of services.
Social media companies’ overall customer satisfaction rating rose from 71 out of 100 last year to 74 this year. Although this may not seem like a big increase, it moves social media from one of the lowest-ranked industries in the ACSI to a more respectable middle ranking. Turning to individual companies, Facebook jumped from 67 to 75, while Pinterest rose from 76 to 78. Wikipedia was up from 74 to 77, YouTube rose from 73 to 76, and Instagram made its first appearance, also at 76.
Further down the totem pole, Twitter edged up from 69 to 71, Tumblr debuted at 69, and LinkedIn crept up from 67 to 68 -- all significantly below the average rating for the social media industry at large.
In addition to the factors listed above, ACSI credited the gains to social networks’ push to increase their content offerings -- for example, with Facebook’s initiative to begin hosting news content directly on its site. Consumers also gave high marks to their efforts to protect privacy, with the satisfaction rating here soaring from 71 to 77. They also cited higher satisfaction with ease of navigation, enhanced speed and reliability of video clips, and the amount of the ads on site.
Interestingly, customer satisfaction with some other major online services -- including news sites and search -- decreased over the same period. The ACSI score for search engines and information sites fell 5% to 76, with Google’s score down 6% to 78. Subscription TV service and Internet service providers were an abysmal 63.