Twitter is rolling out a new Polls feature which will be available to all accounts soon. I’m lucky enough to have Twitter polls and have tested it and I think it is a massive improvement on previous opinion gathering efforts.
In the past, people have used the retweet for yes, a favourite for no style of polling and then counting up the votes. The new feature allows you to create your own two-choice poll directly in the compose box. As polls are a native feature they will be embedded directly into your tweet, rather than having to use Twitter Cards.
This week\’s ep of #TheWalkingDead was cruel. Given a choice what would you prefer to happen?
— Allgeekthings (@Allgeekthings) October 27, 2015
Your poll will remain live for 24 hours and you can even vote yourself. How you voted is not shared publicly which is a great plus for controversial polls. It’s also good because it means brands won’t be able to target users based on what they voted in polls.
The results are tallied in percentages as people vote so you won’t have to check retweets and favourites to find a clear winner.
You can see how many people have voted and they can see when the poll is due to end. Once a poll is completed the results can be viewed within the original tweet.
When someone retweets a poll it will appear in their timeline like a regular retweet and their followers can vote in the poll directly from the retweet.
In order to vote on a poll on a mobile, you will need to open the tweet as you do with images and videos, in order to see the voting options.
Users who have voted in polls will receive push notifications when the polls end so that they can go back and check the final results. If notifications are the bane of your life, then this may well limit the number of polls you take part in.
Twitter Polls will be available on iOS, Android and desktop web so keep checking your account. When you see a new pie chart type icon in your compose box you’ll know you’re good to go.