The recent American Customer Survey Index has come out with a shocking statistic. Facebook, the beloved social networking site of millions, has scored a paltry 64 points out of a possible 100, in this survey conducted by ForeSee Results. And the really surprising part is that it has scored lower than all other businesses in its social media niche.
Things could have looked a lot worse had MySpace not done Facebook a favor by scoring a point less and slotting in at last place in the entire social media category, despite the fact that Myspace rolled out all new jazzed up profiles.
But what’s behind this apparent failure by Facebook to appease customers? The surveyors say that it’s a combination of three problems:
- Privacy concerns faced by users, which really isn’t a surprise given the number of users whose private information has been hacked from Facebook.
- Constant changes to the website, not allowing customers to become habituated with features
- Excessive commercialization of the site, manifested by too many ads for customers’ liking.
Most major websites scored upwards of 75 in this survey and that tells a lot about how customers perceive Facebook. But, interestingly enough, the stats revealed by this survey, do not mirror the reality.
Facebook is in no way becoming unpopular or facing a mass exodus. In fact at the current rate of acquiring new users it will be reaching the unbelievable figure of 500 million users soon! You have to wonder, what if anything keeps a lid on the simmering discontent among Facebook users, so blatantly exposed by the survey.
There are probably two factors at play here:
- The lack of a proper alternative, which is of course why Facebook gets away with a lot. It will be interesting to see what happens when a website comes up to challenge Facebook’s status quo.
- The perceived losses of quitting Facebook are far greater than the hassles users have to face by sticking with it. There is no denying the fact that for many users Facebook is their social life and so, quitting would mean complete alienation from the world. This explains why the ‘Quit Facebook’ movement planned on 31st May this year, failed miserably after thousand who had committed to leave the site, backed out.
So, quite evidently, Facebook is not at risk, but only yet. Social media is a playing field where game-changers appear out of nowhere, and if Facebook is taking its customers for granted, an unpleasant surprise may just be around the corner.