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Google+ bests Facebook in customer satisfaction survey

Despite Facebook's popularity, users aren't actually happy with the social network, according to a recent survey, allowing Google+ to gain some ground.

Facebook this year suffered its largest decline in customer satisfaction, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business Report.

Facebook set a new record low in the social media category when it dropped 8 per cent to 61 point, on a 100-point scale. It now sits among the five lowest-scoring companies of more than 230 measured by the ACSI. The most frequent complaints about Facebook, the report said, are about changes to its user interface, including the recent introduction of the Timeline feature.

In the wake of Facebook getting the hook, rival Google+ earned a score of 78 in its first test of measured customer satisfaction. The report determined that Google's network fared well due to a lack of traditional advertising, and what users deem a superior mobile product.

"Facebook and Google+ are competing on two critical fronts: customer experience and market penetration," said Larry Freed. CEO of ForeSee, which partnered with ACSI for the survey. For now, Google+ wins the former and Facebook takes gold in the latter, he said.

"It's worth asking how much customer satisfaction matters for Facebook, given its unrivaled 800 million user base," Freed said. Google+ is still in its early phases, while Facebook is already an Internet senior citizen, having launched in 2004.

According to April data, Facebook now has more than 901 million users.

Facebook and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The e-business sector overall fell 1.6 per cent from a year ago, ACSI said, to a score of 74.2, lower than the ACSI's national score of 75.9.

"If Facebook doesn't feel the pressure to improve customer satisfaction now, that may soon change," Freed said.