This is how users really feel about the social Web

soical like dislike“Although social media websites continue to attract more users in large numbers, with growth of around 20 percent over the past year alone, social media satisfaction remains low.” The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey on customer satisfaction with e-businesses paints a gloomy picture regarding our happiness with social networks. The recently published survey isn’t mincing words by explaining how much we really appreciate – and hate – the social Web. 

According to the report, we’re unsatisfied. And the main reason? Advertising. Sure, we get a little nervous about privacy when reports like PRISM and major security breaches occur, but most of the time we’re content to put it all out there. It’s the barrage of ads that get us. Given users’ consistent reactions to more and more ads on social sites, this isn’t surprising in the least – but a few things from the survey might be.

We just can’t quit you

Really, the only sites we’re happier with are Pinterest and Wikipedia – everything else has seen little to no change, or negative change.

asci satisfaction

However … we aren’t going anywhere. We’re highly likely to continue using these sites, though not terribly keen on recommending them to others.

acsi benchmarks

Basically, we know that social networks aren’t meeting our expectations, but reports like this mean they don’t have to: Why fix what ain’t (or rather, is) broken? We’re going to keep crawling back, regardless. 

So how unsatisfied are we?

ASCI has an answer to that question: We are as unsatisfied with social sites as we are with subscription television and more satisfied with it than we are with our ISPs. That’s fairly bleak, but it could be worse (but not much – ASCI says it’s the second lowest user satisfaction score among all the categories it covers – that distinction goes to our aforementioned Internet service providers).

In general, the Internet is blowin’ it

Take a look at this:

asci all

The amount of things we are more satisfied with the social sites, search engines, and Web news sites is staggering. Soft drinks, life insurance, food manufacturing, health insurance, airlines, and municipal utilities (like the DMV, folks) all meet our needs better than the Internet at large. Have our standards become too high? Do we expect too much?

Given how much of our time we’re spending sitting in front of screens, the complaining makes sense. But our admitting that we don’t plan to go anywhere anytime soon, regardless of our dissatisfaction, speaks volumes: Don’t worry, Facebook. Those rage-quitters are all talk.