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Are you one of Facebook’s (unhappy) 500 million users?

Posted by Danny Whatmough on 22nd July 2010

I thought twice about publishing a post about Facebook’s 500 millionth user. On the one hand, it’s a landmark moment for the social media world, so I felt it was worth acknowledging. But, with the world’s media also covering the story, I didn’t want to merely add to the post after post that has already been written on the subject (and will be for weeks to come).

But then I picked up an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, which raised a slightly different, less positive side to this announcement.

It covers research from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, developed by the University of Michigan’s Business School. This year, the index has included Facebook in its regular consumer satisfaction overview and the results aren’t pretty for the web giant. Facebook came out with one of the lowest rankings of any company: 64 out of a possible 100. That puts Facebook in the bottom 5% of all private sector companies in the US.

Other social sites like Wikipedia and YouTube did considerably better with scores of 77 and 73 respectively.

So, despite these incredible growth figures, is the company in danger of alienating some of its most loyal fans?

To be fair to Facebook, they’ve taken the news on the chin with the company’s spokesman Jonny Thaw saying that although they hadn’t reviewed the methodology in detail, “clearly we have room to improve.” He continues: “Building a simple, useful service is the best way to earn and sustain the trust people put in us. That’s why we spend so much of our time and energy focused on improving the products we offer and introducing new ones. We look forward to the next survey.”

So congratulations to Facebook; I’m sure they won’t be resting on their laurels…

picture credit

Danny Whatmough