Market research 2.0 at Facebook

Facebook has enabled its 24 million active users to launch polls — for a fee.  This move is said to be the start of a "new era" of social networking. According to the Facebook poll site, you can instantly find out what 25 million people think. "For as little as $6, Facebook Polls let you ask 18-24 year olds what’s hip, ask people in New York who they’re voting for, or even ask "Grey’s Anatomy" fans if they’ll actually watch the new spin-off." You can target polls by gender, age, location, favourite music, movies, TV shows, books, etc, and get answers in 30 mins. The "sample poll" they provide asks "Who did you vote for in American Idol today". The winner? "I did not vote" (50 %). (Jordin Sparks got 28% and Blake Lewis 22%, whoever they are — please don’t tell me). Of the 610 respondents, 423 answers were from women, 170 from men; 421 were 18-24 years old, etc. (I suppose all this assumes that you have set up your Facebook profile honestly in the first place.) You get the drift, anyway.

Facebook is one of the first large social networks to turn their membership into a real-time polling community: you can expect "other large consumer-oriented sites" (mentioning no names) to follow suit.

Whatever one may think about this (the results are not statistically valid), I had an interesting conversation with one of my neighbours this morning whom I met while taking a load of books and clothes down to the Oxfam shop. She told me which university her son has applied for: he’s just done his A-levels and is waiting to see if he gets the required grades. She said that he’s joined a Facebook group for this year’s applicants. Isn’t that nice? It makes such a change from "my day", when you just turned up on day 1, knowing nothing and nobody.

5 thoughts on “Market research 2.0 at Facebook

  1. I wasn’t polled. I feel gypped.
    I liked facebook so much better when it was just a glorified directory, available only to college students (for security reasons, it isn’t that I dislike all y’other folks). With every new fantastic thing they add, they lose a little bit of my love. I’m probably going to quit when I graduate.
    As to the joining facebook pre-college, I’m glad I didn’t have that choice (it didn’t become big until the middle of my first year). Part of the excitement of college was not knowing anybody. If people start deciding who they’re going to know/be friends with before they even get to school, they’re not going to want to explore as much, and they will miss opportunities. The people I’m friends with now–we would not have appreciated each other in Facebook format.

  2. I guess it takes all sorts. I am a reserved type and I wish in retrospect I’d been more willing to meet new people. I have this idea that If I’d known in advance who had similar interests, I would have met, and liked, them. But maybe that is totally wrong, as you point out! (I’ve only been a Facebook user for about 3 weeks and I only use it for Bookshare.)

  3. There is now a new application on facebook which allows you to create questionnaires, surveys, polls, votes and petitions, answer them and invite your friends to answer them. You can display your answers to a questionnaire on your profile so people can get to know you better. We just launched it a couple of days ago, the questionnaires are up and running, polls votes and petitions will arrive in the next couple of days. In a few weeks time we hope to add commercial surveys where users get paid via paypal to answer surveys, but currently its all completely free, and you can view everyones answers to your surveys! We are adding more features all the time – it will soon be very powerful indeed. We are also willing to consider adding any feture you require on request!
    Check it out:
    http://apps.facebook.com/questionnaires
    Best wishes,
    Chris

  4. There is now a new application on facebook which allows you to create questionnaires, surveys, polls, votes and petitions, answer them and invite your friends to answer them. You can display your answers to a questionnaire on your profile so people can get to know you better. We just launched it a couple of days ago, the questionnaires are up and running, polls votes and petitions will arrive in the next couple of days. In a few weeks time we hope to add commercial surveys where users get paid via paypal to answer surveys, but currently its all completely free, and you can view everyones answers to your surveys! We are adding more features all the time – it will soon be very powerful indeed. We are also willing to consider adding any feture you require on request!
    Check it out:
    http://apps.facebook.com/questionnaires
    Best wishes,
    Chris

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