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July 20, 2010

Press Release July 2010

Facebook Flops in ACSI E-Business Report

Google Loses Luster; Bing Debuts Big; Wins Best-In-Show

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (July 20, 2010)—Despite being the most popular website in America, consumers don’t like Facebook, according to the 2010 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business Report, produced in partnership with ForeSee Results. Facebook scored 64 on the ACSI’s 100-point scale, which puts its satisfaction even lower than IRS e-filers. This puts Facebook in the bottom 5% of all measured private sector companies and in the same range as airlines and cable companies, two perennially low-scoring industries with terrible customer satisfaction.

“Facebook is a phenomenal success, so we were not expecting to see it score so poorly with consumers,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results. “At the same time, our research shows that privacy concerns, frequent changes to the website, and commercialization and advertising adversely affect the consumer experience. Compare that to Wikipedia, which is a non-profit that has had the same user interface for years, and it’s clear that while innovation is critical, sometimes consumers prefer evolution to revolution.”

Social media websites are measured for the first time by ACSI, and the category includes Facebook, MySpace, Wikipedia and YouTube. Twitter was not included in the social media category because a disproportionate number of users access Twitter through third party applications other than the website Wikipedia leads the category at 77, followed by YouTube at 73, Facebook at 64 and MySpace at 63.

“Social media has become too big to ignore, so we added it to our list of e-business measures,” said Claes Fornell, ACSI founder and professor of business at the University of Michigan. “We are quite surprised to find that satisfaction with the category defies its popularity.”

Google plunges 7% but continues to lead the portals and search engines industry with a score of 80. It is just the second time that Google cedes its top spot, as the “all others” category of search engine competitors jumps 5% to 82. Microsoft’s Bing search engine makes a strong first showing with a score of 77, trailed by Yahoo! (76), AOL (74), and (73).

“Google may be suffering from trying to be too many things to too many people, but it still has the most loyal following with 80% of its users citing Google as their primary search engine,” said Freed. “That said, Bing’s first measure is impressive and could put some pressure on Google. The new search engine is already making gains in market share and using clever marketing and advertising to distinguish itself from the market leader.”

In the news and information category, FOX News now dominates its competition online as well as on TV. debuts at the top of the industry with a score of 82, the highest score any news site has ever received in nine years of measurement. FOX News’ cable news competitors (74) and (73) trail in satisfaction as well as ratings. All major news websites improve, including newspaper websites for (+4% to 77) and (+4% to 76).

This press release is also available in PDF format.

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