Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) may have the most users, the most revenue, and the most influence over the American public in the social media space, but it's not America's best-liked site. In fact, the social media leader ranks near the bottom in the latest edition of the American Customer Satisfaction Index's (ACSI) E-Business Report. Perhaps the Mark Zuckerberg-led company can take some solace in the fact that while it tied for next-to-last at 68 on the 100-point scale, it at least posted the same score it did in 2016. That's the same score it had last year, and no change year to year is a plus given that last year it had fallen 9% from its 2015 score.
"While Facebook remains well below its peak score of 75 in 2015, the site is doing better now than in many prior years and staying ahead of its historic average of 66," wrote the ACSI.
The most popular sites
Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google+ has a relatively small audience when you compare it to Facebook, but that has worked to its advantage. The service, which was redesigned with new features added in January, jumped 7% to 81 to top the category.
"While Google+ has a smaller, more niche-like customer base than other social media sites, its users are dedicated and highly satisfied," wrote the ACSI. "Google+ also benefits from the popularity of its seamless integration with other Google products across the platform."
Another niche site, Pinterest, came in second with a 78. That's up two points (3%) from a 76 in 2016. Like Google+ the service benefited from improved technology making it easier to navigate for users.
"What originated as a space to pin aspirational images has evolved into a hub for shopping and advertising, and it is increasingly easy for consumers to shop for the products in the pinned images," wrote the ACSI.
Wikipedia came in third with a 77, down from a 78 last year, followed by Facebook-owned Instagram in fourth with a 75, up from 74 in 2016. The top-five was rounded out by YouTube (another Alphabet/Google property) which dropped to 74, one point above the category average of 73, and down from a 77 in 2016.
Better, but still bad
Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) posted the largest gain of any of the social media properties jumping from a dismal 65 to a still below-average 70. That's an 8% improvement for a service that has certainly had a higher profile with the President of the United States regularly using it to communicate seemingly his every thought
Its 2017 surge put Twitter ahead of Facebook, which tied with Tumblr, the AOL property now-owned by Verizon for next-to last place. Bringing up the rear, Microsoft's LinkedIn scored the same 65 it did last year. The job networking site is likely hurt by the fact that while most of the other services on the list are at least partly used for fun, it has a much more practical purpose.
People generally like social media sites
Consumers generally find social media sites reliable, according to this report giving the overall category a 77, the same rating as last year. That's the highest score across all the questions the ACSI asked respondents with "ease of navigation" dropping a point, from 77 to 76, which was blamed on confusion from new features.
On the negative side, people are least happy with the amount of advertising on social media sites, scoring the industry a 69, the same as in 2016. That's the only category that rated below 70 with the second-lowest being "privacy" at 72 (down one point from last year).
What's very clear is that liking a social media company has little correlation to being willing to use it. Facebook may be one of the less-popular properties on this list, but the company saw its stock jump 31% in the first-half of 2017. That was driven by a 51% increase in ad revenue as well as an 18% jump in daily active users to 1.28 billion.
Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Teresa Kersten is an employee of LinkedIn and is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. Daniel Kline owns shares of Facebook and Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Facebook, Twitter, and Verizon Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.