Over the last few weeks our friends over at Twitter have been on the ball with updates and so we thought it was about time we gave you the lowdown on the latest.
For the last few years Twitter has been where we naturally go for breaking news and opinions on a whole host of things and it has now got that little bit easier to gather opinions thanks to one of it’s latest updates: 'Twitter Polls’.
After trialling Twitter polls on both staff and selected verified accounts over the last few months, Twitter rolled this out across all accounts at the end of October 2015. If you run in tech circles the launch of polls may not have been a surprise to you, hey, they aren’t a totally new concept (the old school method of retweet and favourite to vote have been around for the last few years), but they appear to be a much more effective way to gather opinions.
So how do Twitter polls work?
Limited to two answer options only, you can create a Twitter poll in the same way you would create a tweet. Simply click in the box to tweet, select ‘Poll’ and you will be prompted to input your question and answers. These polls stick around for 24 hours, they inform users how many votes have been cast, how long is left to vote and when complete, the all important results of the poll will display. If you’re a participant in a poll, fear not, the options you vote for will not be displayed publicly so you can’t be targeted by brands running the polls *hears you breathe a sigh of relief*.
Yes, you can create polls on desktop, tablets and mobiles however if creating on mobile or tablet, the polls don’t automatically display on your Twitter timeline. If you’re looking to participate or see the results, you’ll have to click into the tweet itself. With this in mind, you gotta make that copy engaging enough for users to click through - time to create curiosity!
TIP: You can vote in a poll directly from a retweet.
Performance and Usage
As polls are relatively new, there isn’t any data readily available on the success as yet. So far, the reaction has been mostly positive, engagement has been relatively high and they have increased followers for many brands. The novelty of these may be short-lived but only time will tell. Here’s how you can use polls to your advantage:
- First off, have fun with the polls. It could be a great way to boost engagement. Ask relevant questions or have fun and ask something completely ‘out there’ to attract attention.
- React to real-time events. Another great way to find out what your followers think in real-time and is a great way to kick-start the conversation. who knows where it will lead…
- Collect opinions. Not sure on what your audience would like to see the most?. Ask them using the poll and let them shape your content strategy.
- Research. Let the polls validate what you’re thinking. If you have a theory, put it out there and see what others think.
Should Twitter have the functionality to edit tweets!? #TwitterEdit
— After Digital (@AfterDigitalUK) November 13, 2015
TIP: Embed polls in your blogs just as we’ve done. Not only does this help add that interactive element to your blogs, it will remain and display the results when the poll ends.
Have you used Twitter polls yet? What question would you ask?
Are you hearting or hating?
For years, all we’ve known are hashtags, replies, retweets and favourites but just last week Twitter decided to change it up replacing the ‘star to favourite’ to a ‘heart to like’ rocking the Twitter world. But why did they do this? What does it mean? Fear not we have it covered…
Last Tuesday Twitter released a post on their site ‘We hope you like what you see on Twitter and Vine today: hearts! We are changing our star icon for favourites to a heart and we’ll be calling them likes’. In this announcement the reasoning behind it was made clear: make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use - you may like a lot of things but not everything can be your favourite.
At the Open Mobile Summit in San Fran, Kevin Wiel from Twitter said this update has come around as hearts are universal, easier to understand, they resonate across different cultures and are more expressive than stars. In tests carried out it seems that people love them and since launch on the 3rd of November, there has been a 6% increase in the use of ‘hearts’ vs ‘stars’ amongst existing users and 9% increase amongst new users so it seems to be paying off.
With ‘’stars’ previously used for acknowledging a tweet or bookmarking a tweet (I used it for bookmarking good content all the time), it’s clear to see why this update has sparked emoji rage from some of the hardcore users: what you might have acknowledged or bookmarked in the past may not be anything which should be ‘liked’ or ‘loved’ for that matter when it comes to real-life, serious events.
After the outcry over the potential Facebook dislike button, Facebook has began rolling out a range of emojis which can be added to posts so users don’t have to ‘like’ posts which shock, anger or sadden you prompting users to ask, ‘why has Twitter made this change’?
We have a mixed bag of opinions in After Digital HQ but the question is will you even remember favourites in a few months?
What do you think? Are you hearting it or do you think Twitter’s heart has hit the wrong beat?