8 Areas Twitter needs to improve its latest feature – Twitter Polls

Twitter Polls, the latest feature that Twitter introduced in recent times has caught attention of users, marketers and media. Enough hype was created around this feature when Twitter introduced this feature only to its employees in the month of September. Twitter users, marketers had an eye and were eagerly waiting for this feature to be rolled out at major scale.

I always believe that any new feature introduced by a social platform should be helpful to both its users at large and the marketers. After all, monetization is the sole aim for any social platform. Now, whether the new feature is worth enough trying, investing and being incorporated as part of marketing tactics, depends on the promise and ROI probability a marketer could sense from it.

Like everyone I too used the Twitter Polls and my reaction was – ‘Woaahh! This has nothing for a brand / marketer’. Does it have anything for the users at large? Frankly, I am not using it again for sure and we would soon see how many of us continue to use it.

Why do I have such harsh feedback on this feature could be understood from the following points where I have highlighted the gaps (read: scope for improvement):

  1. Limited Choice: The Twitter Polls as of now just allows two options to be added to a question. My inhibitions with this scope are – a) Are all our opinions / life choices limited to just two options? b) It’s a forced choice c) There are higher chances for people to skip answering because we human beings aren’t so decisive
  2. Limited Time Period: Your Twitter Poll remains active only for 24 hours! What if I am a global brand and addressing a global audience? How do I seek opinion from my global audience on the same poll? Did Twitter ‘deliberately miss’ considering the timezone differences?
  3. No notification on engagement: Once anyone opts for an option on your Poll tweet, won’t you like to have a notification to know if someone engaged with your Poll or not? Damn! How did Twitter miss this? Sorry, as a marketer and a user I don’t have luxury in life to keep scrolling down by Profile page to check the engagement!
  4. You can’t know who responded to your polls: Wouldn’t you like to know who engaged with your poll? Ofcourse, I would like to know! Even as a marketer I should be knowing who has interacted with my Twitter Poll, else with whom should I interact with? The reasoning for hiding participation data is speculated to restrict marketers from spamming respondents. Wow! Well as user am I interacting with a brand just to let them know about my opinion? Don’t I wish to have a reflection from them towards me? If not, then probably next time I won’t even respond to the brand, as I know its just another marketing gimmick.
  5. Lack of viral effect: Remember Facebook Polls? When you responded to a Facebook Poll, your action reflected on the timelines of your friends. It had the beautiful viral effect which helped Facebook Poll spiral the conversation. But, in case of Twitter there is hardly any such feature. It’s still a one-to-one conversation and that too where brand doesn’t know who am I. Only if someone retweets the Twitter Poll tweet it can travel fast but, there isn’t any scope of viral effect from the Twitter Poll feature itself.
  6. No impact on engagement: The user is after all interacting with the tweet and yet it doesn’t reflect as an engagement parameter in the analytics. For e.g. for the above Twitter Poll that I created, we can see that 74 impressions were served and no engagement. Though four users responded to my Poll (reflecting in the above screengrab), it doesn’t reflect anywhere in the Analytics section. In this case why would a brand use this feature? For a brand, engagement is of utmost priority.
  7. Push notification at the end of 24 hours: Twitter has mentioned that respondents of a Twitter Poll receive push notification at the end of 24 hours. Frankly, I haven’t received it so far though I have participated in couple of polls so far. Even if it was true, how does it help the users? As a user after I have shared my opinion on a poll, how does it make a difference to me if I am notified about the final results. Does it change my opinion? (may be!) Can I interact with the users who showed a difference of opinion? (Absolutely Not! Twitter doesn’t want to reveal that).
  8. Poll in a Reply?: The feature has been just simply rolled out across all behavior. When you intend to reply a tweet, Twitter still allows you to ask a poll. Seriously? Why would I float a poll as a reply?Twitter poll_3

A vibrant platform like Twitter if introduces a feature which is no way helps in excelling the engagement, I fail to understand why would users or brands use this in long run.

If I have missed to understand something, let me know your thoughts…..


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