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Twitter Tests Polling in Latest Experiment

Tweeting opinions may become even easier. Twitter confirmed with Variety that they are testing a new native polling feature. In this phase, it is only available—in beta— to select users. While testing does not guarantee implementation, it’s likely that Twitter will pursue the polling option, for all users, to boost engagement rates.

It’s rare for a day to go by when we’re not releasing at least one experiment.

– Twitter Blog, September 2013

The polling feature operates within Twitter’s signature style as an easy-to-use, concise, real-time conversation platform. Tweeting a poll would be as simple as tweeting a photo. And similar to media uploads, polling would affect character account (for example, sharing photos takes 23 characters). Once tweeted, followers could vote while scrolling through their newsfeed. In other words, polling would not redirect users away from Twitter’s website or app, which would improve engagement. Gathering direct insight from a social media platform with 316 million monthly users will undoubtedly serve myriad businesses.

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While media outlets may use Twitter polls to conversate with fans, companies may prefer to seek consumer insight. After all, businesses could still utilize Promoted Tweets. Paid tweets can target specific demographics and interests, which would help researchers reach the target audience. However, there’s always the question of credibility in polling.

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Any poll question looking for statistical evidence should be wary of biased wording and sampling. Then there are obvious limitations like one question per tweet and the dependency on real-time answers. Therefore, Twitter polling may be more suitable for quick opinions polls rather than analytic research. Nevertheless, are you still excited about this new polling feature? Hopefully we can tweet that poll question soon!


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