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ACSI-Social-Search-User-Experience-Benchmarks-July2015Customer satisfaction with social media sites has risen by 3 points to 74 on a 100-point scale as visitors report growing satisfaction with a variety of user experience elements ranging from privacy to the amount of ads on the sites. That’s according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which released its latest annual E-business report [download page] this morning.

The category leader continues to be Pinterest, with its score of 78 up a couple of points year-over-year and nearing the ACSI’s threshold of excellence (80). Pinterest is followed in the rankings by Wikipedia (+3 to 77), YouTube (+3 to 76) and Instagram, which debuted above the category average of 74, with an index of 76. The other social platform making its debut this year, Tumblr, placed near the bottom of the list with a score of 79.

Last year’s lowest-rated social media sites, Facebook and LinkedIn, saw different fortunes this year. LinkedIn improved a point but remains in the rankings cellar (68), while Facebook was the top category mover, up 8 points to a score of 75.

Perhaps more important than the rankings, the user experience elements behind them. Among the highlights:

  • Satisfaction was highest with the ease of using the sites on different devices (78) and the freshness of content (78), up 3 and 4 points, respectively;
  • Satisfaction with social media privacy, an ongoing issue, improved by 6 points to 77;
  • Social users are less satisfied with the speed and reliability of video clips (75), though that index registered a slight improvement from last year; and
  • While satisfaction continued to be lowest for the amount of ads on the sites (74), even that score was up 3 points from last year.

Also worth noting: user satisfaction scores were higher for social apps (76) than for mobile browsers (73) or computers (also 73).

Meanwhile, the news wasn’t as rosy for search engines and information websites. With an aggregate score of 76, these sites reversed their 4-point gain from last year. That was chiefly the result of a decline in Google’s rating, which dropped from 83 last year to 78 this year, though it maintained its lead over the other search engines. Comparing the two largest online ad sellers finds Google retaining a 2-point user satisfaction lead over Facebook, with that a considerably narrower gap than the 16-point gap a year earlier.

This year, search engine users reported lower levels of satisfaction across all measured elements. Freshness of content and ease of navigation are this year’s top-rated elements, but each fell 4 points to an index score of 78. Site performance, last year’s leading element, fell 6 points to a score of 78.

As with social media, search engine users were least satisfied with the amount of ads on the sites, with this particular index registering a 5-point drop to a score of 70.

Overall, search engine and information sites ranked 25th on the list of 43 industries tracked by the ACSI, ahead of social media sites, which ranked 33rd.

About the Data: The study methodology is described as follows:

“The ACSI E-Busines Report 2015 covering Internet social media, search engines and information sites, and news and opinion sites is based on interviews with 5,400 customers of these three categories of 3-business, chosen at random and contacted via email between April 2 and May 31, 2015. Customers are asked to evaluate their recent experiences with the websites of the largest companies in terms of visitor traffic, plus an aggregate category consisting of “all other” and thus smaller companies.”

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