Facebook fails in UK poll

22 February 2011

LONDON: Home broadband, Google and price comparison websites are among UK consumers' favourite innovations from the last decade - although social networks like Facebook are less popular.

The Foundation surveyed 2,243 people regarding the products and services which had "contributed the most and least to their lives" during the last ten years, choosing three in each category.

Home broadband enjoyed the best overall index score, scoring 192 points out of a potential 300, while ecommerce claimed second on 94 points.

Google's online search engine occupied third with 54 points, beating chip and pin payment systems, registering 49 points, ten points ahead of digital cameras and photography.

Price comparison websites hit 38 points, community recycling received 32 points and improved nutrition labelling on food generated 29 points.

Completing the top ten were low-cost air travel, attracting 25 points, followed by satellite navigation services, yielding 24 points.

The main reasons cited when praising this group included usefulness, mentioned by 66% of the panel, and saving time, on 55%.

Cost savings constituted a primary factor for 40% of the sample, and another 28% referenced the "cutting-edge" technology behind many of these offerings.

"Home broadband was the winner, perhaps surprising if you thought innovation was all about shiny new gadgets," said Charlie Dawson, a partner at The Foundation.

"It allows us to do lots of things more quickly, more effectively and with a lot less effort, from shopping to dating to finding stuff out.

"Perhaps this explains why 71% of UK households have broadband despite it being an extra cost that no one had to pay before it existed."

Reality television attained the highest total concerning the creations garnering the least complimentary feedback from participants, recording 94 points.

Social networks like Facebook was next on the list, delivering 86 points, pop-up ads scored 69 points, and Twitter lodged 58 points.

Interactive voice responses on telephones and DVD membership schemes such as Lovefilm also had low ratings.

Irritation was the most common grievance aired by interviewees, with 56%, while wasting time secured 43%.

Data sourced from Daily Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff