Social media sites, you can't live with them and you can't live without them. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, some of the most popular social media outlets are also among the most hated.
Released on Tuesday, the report surveyed customers on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Wikipedia, Youtube, Google+ and Pinterest. Facebook and LinkedIn ranked the lowest in customer satisfaction, with a rating of 67. Twitter came in third with a score of 69. Pinterest on the other hand, scored the highest out of the seven companies surveyed, with a score of 76.
"Advertising tends to be less prevalent and intrusive on Pinterest," explained ACSI managing director David VanAmburg. "Also, ‘pinning' is generally perceived to be a more simplified social networking concept compared with the many layers and modes of social interaction on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn."
The survey chalks up Facebook and LinkedIn's low scores to privacy concerns and the high prevalence of advertisements. And with the introduction of the Facebook "buy" button, it does not seem like Facebook is moving away from its ad-heavy and consumer-driven focus.
But when it comes to users' dissatisfaction with social media sites, there may be deeper forces at play than just annoying advertisements and privacy concerns. Sure, people think ads are annoying on social media but they seem to increasingly think their "friends" are annoying too. In 2012, a chrome extension app called Unbaby.me debuted. The app, which replaces baby pictures on Facebook feeds with images of things such as cats, sunsets and bacon, became wildly popular. "They fixed the Internet!" Twitter users proclaimed.
But why did the tool strike such a nerve with so many different users? Perhaps it is because babies remind people that they too may become "old and boring" one day. But it also may be because users get irritated when they see other people brag, humble or otherwise, about their awesome lives and adorable babies on social media. Facebook is prime real estate for bragging. And LinkedIn, with its constant updates about job promotions, was practically designed for a "network while bragging" one-two punch.
So it makes sense that a site like Pinterest, which is focused not on bragging but on aspirational living and goalkeeping, scored the highest on the customer satisfaction rating. With studies claiming that Facebook makes people sad, perhaps our love-hate relationship with social media has less to do with ads and more to do with us.
Check out the survey here