I’ve always been a fan of your poll functionality – or ‘Question’ as you prefer to call it – on branded Facebook Pages. Being able to get fans to engage quickly and easily by one simple click was a great way of posing a pertinent question and taking an instant snapshot of how the community felt at that particular moment in time.
Vanished before my eyes!
So imagine my surprise when I went to upload a question recently and found that the option to ask one had completely disappeared. Normally, I just click on Offer, Event + and the option to choose ‘Question’ would be right in front of me.
I wondered if it was unique to that page, so I tried the same sequence on several brand pages and, lo and behold, it had disappeared for them as well.
Next stop was a Google search to see if I had missed an important announcement about it. No. Nothing had been announced. Yes, there were stories about phasing it out for personal accounts – which is fair enough as I don’t think I’ve ever asked friends about their favourite TV programme – but definitely nothing about the feature going on branded Facebook Pages.
‘Questions’ set for early retirement
As TechCrunch stated in October 2012: “Facebook finally confirmed it is retiring Questions, which originally launched in July 2010. The Questions Dashboard and option to share a poll to the news feed are being removed. Questions will still be available in Groups and Pages.”
But it would appear that you, Facebook, have actually decided to pull it for Pages too.
Is this correct? If so, I’d like to know why. It was still there in your help centre and there were still clear instructions on how to set a Question up.
I tapped up industry sources, and like me, no one had heard or read any formal announcement. However, other community managers confirmed that their ability to post Questions had also disappeared. One person even commented that she had written a training video on Tuesday 9 July and the functionality was there. But by Wednesday 10 July it had vanished!
Please bring it back, Facebook. It’s so useful to be able to get an unbiased view from a brand’s community. A poll can capture the feeling at a particular moment in time, and we community managers can use that information to help inform our brands’ content and campaigns. As you well know, feelings can change over time and we need to regularly take the temperature of our community to keep it in good health.
So, if you are reading this, dear Facebook, please us know what has happened to your poll functionality. We want it back!
PS In the short time between us asking the question, and writing our plea, AllFacebook succeeded in extracting an official 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.”
But we don’t think it’s game over yet. Join us in calling for the return of Questions.