Ask the question and most people will have an opinion on social media. The rise of Facebook and other networking platforms has changed the way we communicate forever, so it’s no surprise that we’re making ourselves vocal on the way they work.
Statistics show that in April this year, 1.28 billion people were using Facebook each month. A massive 757 million of these people are daily users, but a report this week from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) shows a large percentage of these daily users are more than unhappy with their experience.
Each year the ACSI reports on customer satisfaction across all industries, and the 2014 results for social media are not looking good. Companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube are rated at the bottom of the consumer satisfaction table when compared with other services, like airlines and Internet service providers.
When asked why they were so unsatisfied and frustrated, social media users said they were concerned about privacy, or were simply sick of all the advertising.
It’s worth noting that both Facebook and Twitter have recently made it possible for users to shop directly from their news-feeds, so online retailers have more access to consumer dollars. This may mean more advertising revenue for the social media giants, but it also means their audiences are being saturated with commercially driven posts and tweets. And if the ACSI report is correct, users are saying they don’t like it.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Despite the complaints, people are still using Facebook as much as we ever did and more and more people are looking for ways to boost your Instagram followers. In fact, a recent APAC report predicts another 4% in user numbers by 2015. But even if that subsides, there’s always another social media platform to fall back on.
In this case it’s Pinterest that’s reaching its stride, after steadily building in popularity for the last few years. Recent changes to the search functions have increased usability and Pinterest is now rating at the top of the social media satisfaction index.
But the biggest surprise of the ACSI report was the ranking of Google+. Once referred to as ‘the party with no people’ it may just be finding its second wind with a fourth place ranking.
Love them or hate them, social media platforms are here to stay. Whether you are looking at your followers in Instagram or likes on Facebook, social media is a huge part of everyday life. Their good users are becoming more vocal about what they want from these companies, but until user numbers start to significantly decline, social media companies are unlikely to make any changes to the increasingly commercial nature of their sites.
(Photo courtesy of Jay Cameron)