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Facebook users not as satisfied as Google+ users

Facebook's reputation for customer satisfaction continues to tarnish, while Google+ pops up on a customer satisfaction index for the first time and makes it to the top of the social network pyramid.

A report from ForeSee shows Google+ at the top of customer satisfaction rankings and Facebook at the bottom.
Screenshot by Donna Tam/CNET

Facebook's reputation for customer satisfaction continues to tarnish while Google+ pops up on a customer satisfaction index for the first time and makes it to the top of the social network pyramid.

The story's an old one by now. Facebook is the Web's most popular site with hundreds of millions of users, but people still don't like it.

Now Google+, which has been dubbed by some as a ghost town, is gaining some traction with a higher customer satisfaction rating, according to the numbers released from the American Customer Satisfaction Index today. According to the new numbers, Facebook's rating drops 8 percent to 61 on a 100-point scale, while Google+ makes its index debut with a 78, putting it in line with Wikipedia.

Social media companies were among the 230 companies measured by the index, and the industry consistently has the lowest-rated companies (social media's overall rating of 69 can only beat airlines, subscription television service, and newspapers).

The ranking was released in partnership with analytics company ForeSee, which determined that Google+ hits all the notes that Facebook misses.

According to the report, Google+ does well because it doesn't have traditional advertising, has more focus on privacy, and provides a better mobile experience. Facebook users, on the other hand, complain about ads and privacy concerns, with the most frequent complaint being changes to the interface, with the most recent one being the introduction of the Timeline.

"Facebook and Google+ are competing on two critical fronts: customer experience and market penetration. Google+ handily wins the former, and Facebook handily wins the latter, for now," Larry Freed, ForeSee's president and CEO, said in a statement. "It's worth asking how much customer satisfaction matters for Facebook, given its unrivaled 800 million user base. But I expect Google to leverage its multiple properties and mobile capabilities to attract users at a rapid pace. If Facebook doesn't feel the pressure to improve customer satisfaction now, that may soon change."

It's unclear if the report factors in the fact that there are much fewer people are on Google+, and these numbers come as Facebook's daily Web traffic seems to be bouncing back after a few months of decline.

Still, it's got to hurt Mark Zuckerberg's ego a bit to see another low rating, considering that company's mantra is about making users happy over advertisers. When asked for comment, a Facebook spokesperson said the social network cares about customer satisfaction but did not comment on the report's notes on the specific customer complaints.

"We care deeply about the experience people have on Facebook and that's why we're so focused on building and improving the products we offer," the spokesperson said in a statement. "Giving people the means to interact with the people when they want, where they want and how they want is the most meaningful way for us to make our relationship with people even stronger."

Other social media sites scored were LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter, all with scores that were 69 and lower, but higher than Facebook's 61.

Other stats published included rates for search engines and and news sites.

While Google remains on the top of the search engine list with a score of 82, Bing and aren't too far behind with scores of 81 and 80, respectively.

"Google is to search what iPad is to the tablet market. Its name is synonymous with the category, and it still dominates 65 percent of searches in the U.S.," Freed said in his statement. "Bing is doing all the right things to be a player in search, but the problem is that Google users are generally satisfied and have little reason to go elsewhere."

For news sites, has the highest rating for customer satisfaction at 84, which is a 2 percent increase from last year. trails at 76, with the at 74 and the at the bottom with a rating of 69.