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article imageTwitter experimenting with native polls in tweets

By James Walker     Sep 26, 2015 in Internet
Twitter has confirmed it is working on adding native support for polls in tweets. Voters will be able to click option buttons embedded in the tweet to cast their ballot. The feature is currently being tested with a limited number of users.
Native polling isn't yet available to everybody and is only enabled for some select groups of users. The feature, still in the experimental stage, is receiving largely positive feedback and its public announcement suggests it will be rolled out across Twitter in the future.
The polls can be viewed in Twitter's native mobile apps and on the main website. They are not yet compatible with third-party apps or popular Twitter-owned Windows desktop client TweetDeck.
The Guardian reports that eligible users will have access to a new "Poll" button in the "post tweet" dialog box, next to the existing Media and Location controls. Clicking it allows different options to be added which users can then vote on.
When displayed on the website, the option buttons appear beneath the main Tweet text, allowing users to click one and vote. The number of votes already cast and the remaining time on the poll are also visible. Results are expressed as percentages, providing an easy at-a-glance view of voter opinion spread.
The feature has been praised as a way to boost brand engagement on Twitter, helping it to grow into a more established marketing platform. Recently, news sites have begun using polls on their own websites as an easy way to show public opinion on a topic and the trend seems to be growing.
Current Twitter polls consist of special cards using embedded content from third-party poll providers to display the options to users. Another popular method of allowing people to easily express one of two opinions is to exploit the retweet and favourite buttons, allowing a poster to say "retweet for a, favourite for b."
There are currently limitations to the native polling that is now being tested. All polls appear to have a fixed duration of 24 hours and the interactive content does not display in timelines or profiles. This can lead to some seemingly random text-only tweets being displayed where a poll should be present but is not visible.
Twitter may be able to fix these issues should the feature hit the general public. An update to the company's API could also allow third-party clients to display the option controls, allowing brands, marketing agencies and general users to easily gauge the opinion of their followers.
More about Twitter, Tweet, Poll, Native, Opinion
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