Facebook: poll tool “Question” removed from branded pages

Facebook removes Question from branded pages
It’s gone. Question is no longer available for branded Facebook pages.

Facebook polls gone. Without making a lot of noise, Facebook has removed the poll tool “Question” from the feature set available to Facebook brand page owners. Even if the Question widget remains available for Groups (for the time being), community managers around the world will sadly miss this popular and free toll to easily interact with a page’s fans.

The first evidence of the disappearance of the Question widget can be traced back to July 11th, 2013. Following up on questions of users who didn’t have access to the tool anymore, allfacebook.com got the following statement from Facebook:

We’re no longer offering questions as an advertising product, or as a tool for all pages on Facebook, but we’re exploring the value questions bring to pages that produce public content — like news organizations, for example. Questions will remain as a tool for a small group of these types of pages, so that they can help us test a few improvements we’re making to the ways people and pages interact on Facebook.

At the time of writing, the French and German versions of Facebook’s help page “What else can I do besides posting to make my Page engaging?” still featured references to the Question app in a quite prominent position, but the page supposed to describe how to use it was no longer available.

It’s surprising that Facebook discontinues a popular tool that used to be #2 in ways to make one of their core products – the branded pages – more engaging. But what do you do as a community manager if you want to submit a survey or poll to your fans?

Update August 16th, 2013: Some further research revealed that Marketing Land had already detected Facebook’s fading interest for the Questions tool as early as August 2012 and that the social network had announced its removal in a blog post dated June 6th, 2013. (Thanks to TechCrunch for digging this up.) Their line of argument: “We noticed that many ad units accomplish the same goals, so we’re cutting out these redundancies. This includes removing the Questions product for Pages because marketers can simply ask a question in a post and get answers in comments.” The difference in involvement necessary for clicking a poll box on one hand and actually writing a comment on the other hand is so big, that it is quite safe to say that this is only a pretext. But the blog post’s title “An Update on Facebook Ads” provides a clear sign that Facebook simply generated less advertising income from Questions polls than it generated from regular status updates. This also seems to be the case for the Offer tool whose death is announced in the same blog post, even if it is still available at the time of writing.

Have you ever experimented with other survey or poll applications on Facebook? A quick Internet search comes up with

What app will you use? Please share your feedback in the comments!

 

This post is also available in: FR

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