Last week, LinkedIn announced that it will discontinue polls in groups, starting May 15th. Most people don’t think it’s a big deal because they never use LinkedIn polls, but it brings up an interesting question about polling.
Why do companies like LinkedIn and Facebook abandon a tool that can provide publishers, brands and individuals with feedback, engagement, and additional traffic?
The short answer is, “An old-school polling solution isolated to one channel like LinkedIn or Facebook just doesn’t get results on today’s social, real-time web. Pouring resources into it wouldn’t have made sense for them.” says Jimmy Jacobson, CTO of wedgies.com.
Here are the two main reasons why companies like LinkedIn abandon polling features:
Polls limited to one channel aren’t successful because people aren’t limited to one channel. As social networks have grown exponentially, creating vast feedback channels ripe for polling, companies like LinkedIn are fighting to keep your attention. In their mind, it doesn’t make sense to develop a technology that requires input from competing channels to be effective.
User Experience Development
User experience is key to engagement and participation in a poll. Ugly radio buttons and complicated interfaces that ignore the human need to engage with visual content are rampant. Polls also need to be created at internet speed. No one has time to waste with clunky interfaces. It takes dedicated resources to create a polling solution that matches the visual brand and technical requirements of a large organization across desktop and mobile. Dedicated resources cost money.
But LinkedIn’s decision doesn’t mean polls don’t work. It just means they’re not worth developing for only one channel.
Publishers, brands and individuals don’t need to lose out on the power of polls to gather feedback, trigger social engagement, and drive traffic across all of their channels because of that.
Wedgies has put the design and development time into hauling the technology out of the 90’s and put multi-channel polling into the hands of anyone who wants to wield it. Tech-savvy brands like Engadget, Pantene, USAToday, The Next Web, The Weather Channel, and many more are engaging millions with their polls.
Example Engadget Poll
Wedgies provides a real-time, mobile-friendly polling platform that collects votes from all channels, even SMS, in one place so you can actually use the results. They take less than 60 seconds to create, you can easily embed them in articles, and share them on tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook with one click. Brands who embed them in articles and share their poll across social networks have even seen 10-20% lifts in traffic compared to articles without polls. Not to mention all the likes, shares, retweets, favorites, and reblogs that create the traffic.
“Despite seeming simple, building a fun and engaging polling platform is really hard.” says Jimmy Jacobson.
LinkedIn and other companies abandon native polls because it doesn’t make sense for them to dedicate resources to developing a polling platform for a single channel that won’t meet the needs of users.