Facebook rolls out polls for Pages across desktop, mobile

Polling allows brands to solicit feedback from their followers and Facebook to collect more data about people’s interests.

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Brands can easily run informal focus groups on Facebook now.

On Friday, Facebook rolled out a polling tool so that people and Pages can quiz their respective friends and followers across Facebook’s site and mobile apps.

Facebook has been on something of a polling craze in the past month (and two years after Twitter added its own polling feature). In early October, it added a polling feature to Instagram Stories. Then a couple of weeks later, the company announced that it had acquired teen-centric polling app tbh.

Facebook’s latest polling feature is similar to Instagram Stories’ version in that polls are limited to two answer options. To draw attention to their Facebook polls, people and Pages can attach GIFs and photos, and they can set a time for when voting will close, such as one day, one week or a custom expiration date. The person or Page that created the poll will be able to track vote counts, as will those who cast the votes.

The addition of polling opens up an opportunity for Pages to solicit feedback from their followers without asking them to do anything more than tap a button. The tool could be used to spur everyday engagement — “Buying the iPhone X, yes or no?” — and to inform actual business decisions, like which new flavor of a product to test.

Polling also potentially opens up new data for Facebook, as is also the case with the tbh acquisition. Assuming that Facebook designs programs to parse poll questions, the company would be able to use people’s answers to better understand their interests. For example, it could use a poll that asks “Adidas or Nike?” to augment its knowledge of people’s preference for either brand, especially for people who respond to the poll but are not fans of Adidas’s or Nike’s Facebook Pages, as well as those who are fans of both brands’ Pages.

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About the author

Tim Peterson
Tim Peterson, Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat's ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar's attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon's ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube's programming strategy, Facebook's ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking's rise; and documented digital video's biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed's branded video production process and Snapchat Discover's ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands' early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo's and Google's search designs and examine the NFL's YouTube and Facebook video strategies.

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