Twitter experiments with polling feature

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Twitter experiments with polling feature

October 5, 2015

You can already make donations, stream live videos and buy products. With the demand for growth escalating, Twitter is adding polling services to its repertoire of features. Tech Times reports, “The experimental feature comes at a crucial time for Twitter, which is struggling under pressure from investors to grow its user base of 300 million and appoint a permanent CEO.”

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, thinks that “the platform is a place where people can share their thoughts, speak their minds and do it all in real-time,” according to TechCrunch. Some people argue that polling is the opposite. Instead of having the ability to state their own thoughts, users will be forced to choose between two specific answers.

On the other hand, groups like sports teams are excited about the possibility of increasing fan engagement through Twitter polling.

But, it comes down to this: Will a polling feature help Twitter gain new users?

The basics of polling

The poll is imbedded directly into the tweet. The format: ask a question and provide two answers for users to choose from. The poll is open for 24 hours, with a countdown to inform individuals how much time is left to vote. Other users can see how many people have already participated. Once the poll expires, the final results are displayed in percentages.

Currently, this feature is in the experimental stage. Only select Twitter users and employees can create a poll, but everyone is able to participate by casting their vote.

What can it be used for?

This isn’t the first time Twitter has played with the idea of polling. In 2014, users had the opportunity to vote for their favorite Oscar nominees. This option was only available on mobile devices. Twitter’s new polling feature works on the mobile and desktop website.

From exciting to mundane, the polling feature has an array of options. For example, someone tested the Twitter poll by asking, “Are you about to go to bed?” Just think of all the other useless questions that could populate your Twitter feed.

The Guardian explains that the feature could help “gauge public opinion on certain issues, whether that be politics or entertainment events, such as reality TV shows.”

As pointed out, Twitter polling could be a big hit with media outlets, especially during the upcoming presidential elections. Also, with the potential for increased follower interaction, Twitter hopes that companies will see this as an effective marketing strategy. Sports teams may also like exercising their polling option. Here is an example of how a sports team utilized Twitter polling to increase fan engagement.

Twitter poll example
Twitter poll response

Will it launch?

It’s not guaranteed that the feature will become accessible to all users. Tech Times says, “It is, of course, entirely possible that the polling feature does not pass through the testing stage and can go straight to Twitter’s trash bin of ideas instead.”

And, some individuals think it’s an all-around bad idea. Drew Olanoff of TechCrunch argues that users shouldn’t be limited to two choices. He adamantly declares, “But when you poll someone, you deter them from making their true voice heard. It’s simple psychology.”

We will have to see how the testing phase fares. But, in the spirit of irony…

Do you think Twitter polling is a good idea?

□ Yes

□ No


Twitter Polls Are An Awful Idea