Facebook, the largest social network on earth, has added several new features to its ‘Pages’ feature, including the ‘Poll’s option that was removed five years ago.
Administrators of Facebook pages can now create a poll by clicking on the ‘+’ sign and choosing ‘polls’ as the type for the new post they are able to create.
In addition to text, polls also support images and animations (GIFs) as options.
Earlier, the type of posts were limited to ‘Status’, ‘Photo/Video’, ‘Live Video’, ‘Event’ and so on.
However, a redesign of the Pages feature now shows several new features including ‘polls’, ‘offers’, ‘product view’, ‘milestone’, ‘note’ and other items.
Polls were among the most useful features on FB pages as they allowed business and others to get feedback from the audience on major events and decisions and served as mini marketing surveys.
The decision to banish polls from pages five years ago had led to a lot of heartbreak among users.
However, at the time, Facebook did not offer any clear explanation on why it took the decision.
A member of the company’s ‘help team’ had this cryptic reply on the matter: “As Facebook grows and changes features change with it and some that were previously available are changed or removed based on feedback from the people using Facebook.”
After it was removed, users had to rely on specific apps to create polls on FB, and these rarely worked as smoothly as the native option.
‘NOTES’ AND ‘OFFERS’
Besides the Polls functionality, FB pages now also support the ‘Note’ feature, a kind of quasi web-page within the social network that feels like a regular page on a website.
Notes were hitherto only available for individual accounts. Making them available to Pages could allow certain organizations and corporations to actually publish rich content on Facebook, instead of creating it on a website and then sharing it.
Another new feature is the ability to offer discounts and deals in a more ‘trackable’ way.
Earlier, businesses and organizations would create graphics and images with details of the discount, or create webpages and share those.
The advantage of the built-in ‘Offer’ feature is that it supports ‘expiry’, which means that the post will not be shown as available once the offer period expires.
The new features are part of the social media giant’s efforts to create more and more revenue from its platform.
Facebook does not charge its regular users for using the platform, but instead packages and ‘sells’ its users to corporations and organizations as targets for their advertising.
The social network gets nearly all of its money either from ads, which pop up on the side of the pages, or ‘promoted posts’, which are posts that have been paid for by those who operate pages and appear in the users’ timeline.
Page owners are incentivized to pay for ‘promoted posts’ by curtailing the visibility of regular posts made via pages.
This is unlike Twitter, which does not discriminate between personal accounts and brand accounts, and shows all content equally. On Facebook, posts made by brands and ‘pages’ are less likely to appear in the users’ time line compared to posts made by individuals.
In turn, Facebook offers to “boost” such posts in exchange for money.
People who operate pages are usually provided an estimate of how many people are likely to see a particular post that has been posted by a page if it is ‘boosted’ by paying the social network a certain amount of money.