Twitter Polls

Twitter rolled them out around October 21st, this new feature let you making polls directly into a tweet. So far you can create simple polls, the polls are binary: Yes or No, or whatever that you could come up.

3rd Party Polls

I had barely used Rt’s and Fav’s to make polls that how people used to make polls time before, nor the Hashtag voting but a web site called Wedgies.

Wedgies is a minimal poll platform that does the work, you can embed the poll to your website, share it on Twitter and other social networks. With this service you can create polls with more that 2 options or answers. Has a nice analytics section with kind of useful information.

I tried it for making several polls, and was so so. I just wanted to interact on an easier way with my Followers, so I ran several polls about technology and local stuff.

Here’s a demo of a poll:

Testing Twitter Polls

I just had to refresh the Twitter page to get that new feature added. The first thing I did was to search “twitter polls” to see what was trending about it, some people had them activated and some others were expecting to get them soon, some were happy and others making jokes about it.

The first poll I made was to interact with my city’s users, it involved a sort of political issue as it talked about a bad designed and poor project of making a dangerous bike route. And as it has happen on other similar polls that touch political issues on the social networks it got hacked hours before ending.

Here is the poll:

Will you take your kid’s to ride their bikes at Madero’s Boulevard bike route?, giving a little context, the poll was created because some other urban cyclist of my town and I think this route is dangerous and want our government to fix it and make it more secure.

Twitter Polls version 1.0, the beginning

With the new polls you can create two option polling, the votes are anonymous, you can only vote once with your twitter account. The poll last 23 hours before closing and giving the final result.

As I experienced with my previous poll, I followed it for a day, I could see how the percentage changed live. That was cool.

I also noticed how in the last 3 hours votes grew on the YES option as many bots started taking control over the poll that touched political waters, a city project that I was asking if bike riders were taking their kids to ride when finished. Not for promoting not going but to ask for better security options to the municipally Government.

I was expecting that to prove that Twitter polls were hackable, as you can turn the results the way you want of course if the question results bothers somebody. The only thing you need is a bunch of accounts and the good thing is that there won’t be any visible record of the accounts used to submit the vote.

Twitter missed the point of having real interaction, or may want to retake this and fix it to make more real and trust-able their polling service, I’m not saying it’s bad, you can use it for some other good things, the only thing is that you may not want to take too serious, there could be somebody or other users who may want to turn results the contrary way to troll you.

It was a good start but the polling service needs to fix little things like:

  • Verified people votes, by having only real people or giving them the right to vote. I don’t know the percent but this is a network of anonymous and trolls accounts, few real users use the network under their real name a lot more under a mask, because of any reason. So users who have registered their phones may count as verified.
  • Anonymous voting, you can make votes anonymously only if the voter is real, if not the list of voters needs to be displayed, any way you’re not going to check who voted on your poll to subtract the bots and trolls for getting more real data.

I did the same poll using RT’s and Fav’s and guess what?, there weren’t YES votes. People voted NO, their accounts were record on the “favorites” or now called “Likes”.

With anonymous votes people may probably vote without showing their opinion, this could also serve perfectly for other purposes, some real profiles vote and just stand for what they answered and that counts double. On this case the one or ones who control this horde of bots who voted and turned down my first poll knew that if they voted again they would promote my poll by giving a RT and also the accounts used for sabotaging the poll would be exposed. Or probably they didn’t have the sightless idea and just didn’t want to be part of it.

Here’s the RT=Yes, Fav=No poll:

I think Twitter polls are a good instrument to measure some stuff, probably fun and not too serious things. Any way it’s probably another service for making fun and bother people, and we shouldn’t make it a big deal.

So many good services like this may probably succeed only if real people gets verified, and bots and trolls are kicked off. Perhaps we may just have fun as it is as this might never happen.

On the other hand is a lame having people who controls the networks of small governments who cheat themselves with fake results.