Contact Us
  • Facebook's New Questions Feature

    Where are they coming from?

    Today someone asked Jason, my fellow HyperArtiste, a “Question” on his personal profile. It was a completely new format to us. Perhaps, we thought, a feature being rolled out to select users?

    Jason responded to the Question and saw that many other friends and friends of friends were also sharing their input. He decided to try asking his own Question. A new icon had appeared over his “What’s New?” status bar:



    Only after I had answered Jason’s Question did I see the icon appear on my Profile and Newsfeed. It just popped up! Then I could ask my friends a Question. Here is Facebook’s description, if you click on that tiny question mark:

    In the Questions set-up you can type in a question of any kind. You can make it open ended (“What’s your favorite band?”) or include options. Jason picked an open-ended question. On the HyperArts Page, we selected a few options and de-selected this box that allows users to add more options:

    When Jason went to publish his query, Facebook warned him that this Question would be open to ANY Facebook user, not just his friends.

    Then he was also given the option to share his Question with specific friends. He requested that I check out his Question, and I got this email:

    I also got a Facebook notification of his invite. His Question showed up in my Newsfeed as well.

    I noticed that you can click on one spot to view the results without leaving your current page, or you can click on the date and view the Question on its own separate page.

    I could see if any of my friends had responded because their photos show up next to their answers. The blue squares with the “…” represent profiles of people who are NOT your friends.

    Also, I could see comments of my friends below, or toggle to the “others” view to see all comments.

    So, what if I want to see the Questions that my friends are asking but I am not seeing them in my Newsfeed? There is now a tab in your left-column navigation:

    Anatomy of a Question


    In the red box, you can see the body of the Question. This is where any pre-determined options will appear, along with options that may have been added by friends.

    1. Follow this Question: You can follow a Question and presumably receive updates when people respond.
    2. Ask Friends: If you want to share this Question with specific people, ask them with this button. A menu of all your friends will appear, similar to event invites.
    3. Posts/Comments: This is another important aspect of Questions. The conversation that can happen as a result of your poll will most likely take place here, in the comments area. You can view comments of your friends or of everyone.

    Jason’s question was left open-ended, so many of his friends have added options to the poll. See in the above image that you can click to see the many more options, but the most popular results are displayed by default.

    Using Questions for your Page

    Pages can also ask Questions. I tried it out on HyperArts and asked this question, “Have you tried Facebook’s new feature, Questions?”

    The option to ask a Question shows up above our Page’s status bar, just like on profiles. Now there is also an App link in the left column of the Page:

    Clicking there will take you to a tab that displays any Questions that HyperArts has created OR responded to, depending on where you click.

    When I view the Question on the HyperArts Page, I can look at the users who have answered and I see a link encouraging me to “add them as a friend.” But if I click “Use Facebook as HyperArts” (learn more about this feature) I only see their name. This is because a Page cannot become anyone’s “friend.” However, if someone answered the Question as their Page, I see a button encouraging me to “Like” their Page:

    Statistics

    Once you have asked your Question and received responses, you probably will want to know the results. Sometimes people will ask questions as well, in the comments area. To review the results of your Question for a Page, just click on that Questions app link in your left-column menu. You can then click on the Question itself and see a pop-up window. This includes all comments and the results of your poll:

    Note how you can see the total number of votes and comments in one place. But you can also hover over each option to see the number of votes for each one. The level of popularity of each response is indicated by the blue bars, like a graph.

    Depending on the type of Question you asked, this could be very valuable information. Much easier to calculate than a simple question asked on your Wall. Before this feature, Page Admins would have to sort through their Wall to read comments on each post. If your Page has a large number of fans, and you are asking a simple yes-or-no question, it might get tedious counting the number of comments from one post!

    So now that we have described how Questions works, let’s explore the pros and cons of the new feature.

    Pros:

    • This is potentially a great viral feature. For Pages, you can get a lot of visibility from one question if many people answer. Their friends can answer too, increasing your reach.
    • You can ask a question with or without options.
    • With options, you get a better idea of who likes what more. For example, if you are deciding between 3 bands to go see live, you can ask friends to pick between those 3, rather than have them all list their own favorite concerts.

    Cons:

    • This could potentially be a very annoying feature. But like anything new, it will most likely be bad at first and then we will get used to it.
    • Anyone can answer the poll. Friends of friends. And their friends. So strangers basically. If you want to ask a private question, do it in your regular old status bar.
    • An open-ended question can result in TONS of responses with just 1 vote. But you CAN say “don’t allow people to add options” and users are limited to the answers you have supplied, like multiple choice.
    • No URLs allowed in a question! So you cannot really reference an external webpage directly.

    Learn more:

    http://www.facebook.com/questions/

    Comments

    1. Hey, i need help for creating iframe tab for my fanpage.
      i have a made a page for iframe tab like
      http://yoursite.com/facebook/myapp/index.html

      but when i try to integrate it to my fanpage it says Not Found

      The requested URL /facebook/myapp/index.html/ was not found on this server.

      Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request

      while editing app,facebook compels to add ‘/’ after the url

      like http://yoursite.com/facebook/myapp/index.html/

      but it doesn’t find any resource

      what should i do now?
      any suggestion please?
      Thanks

      • This is definitely off topic. If you’re getting a 404 error, then your URL must be incorrect. Don’t follow “index.html” with a “/”. You should be able to access your app URL directly in your browser.

    2. Wow, this looks complicated at first glance but I will reread and see how it works. Could be fun. Thanks for sharing .

    3. So, is this another way for companies to know what we like?
      Questions? really?

      • Monday morning and I don’t really see anyone in my network using the new feature. I think they might blow over quickly with personal profile users. However, Pages might be able to make more use of them for engagement with fans.

    4. ShouldBe51 says:

      I don’t like this – as I can see an invasion of privacy….
      Why do they create these features that you cannot opt out of. I am seeing this in my newsfeeds…

    5. A few points that I think could be added to your article:
      – you can tag pages in your poll options
      – you can select more than one answer (I can’t see an option to make it only one answer per person yet)
      – you don’t get notifications on your business page if people answer your question, however, if you suggested the question to some of your friends then you’ll be notified on your personal profile when they answer it
      – it would be good if the poll options could be pictures, eg showing different designs on a business page and asking for a favourite
      Great article thanks 🙂

    6. I don’t see the questions option on the status bar nor on the left nav bar in the appas. How do I activate this feature on my fan pages. I see it on my personal profile but it doesn’t show up on any of my fan pages..Thanks for the help as always

    7. Hi Analisa…it tells me my account is already enabled. I do see the feature on my personal profile but it’s not showing on any of my fan pages…really weird

      • Hmmm, I tried to find a Page that I admin without it, but all of them have Questions! Try using Facebook as your Page?

    8. lol…done that…nowhere to be found

    9. Hi..please help me for iFrame app issue.
      I have made a iFrame app for my fanpage. https://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=103929093023923

      the main page http://a1computerbarisal.com/facebookfanpage/david/meetthegangs.php

      It worked so fine for few days..but now it doesn’t show in fanpage now. though it is in my fanpage now.and if i add the app to another fanpage it doesn’t show as well.
      any suggestion please?
      Thanks

      • Jahan, This is not the topic of this blog post! Please don’t post off topic again.

        I added your app and it works fine. However, I see the URL you provided begins with https which means you’re using “secure browsing” in your account settings.

        And I see that when I use secure browsing (https) your tab disappears. So you need to make sure that the images you use in that tab are hosted on a server with an SSL Certificate (a secure server) and the URL to that image begins with HTTPS, not HTTP. This will solve your problem.

        Read our tutorial on adding iFrames for more info: http://bit.ly/iframe-app.

    10. I am so sorry for my comment…i was disappointed about it.Thanks for your suggestion.

    11. This is the MOST annoying and stupid thing Facebook has ever done. If you are dumb enough, as I was, to answer just one of these, not realizing what you were setting yourself up for, you’re stuck with it. There is no way to remove it, no way to block it, no way to ignore the posts from that time on. I am to the point where I am having to consider removing friends over this STUPID inane CRAP.

    12. Thanks for sharing very nice information!! I’ve been waiting long to see it.. I have an account on FB.. I need to create my own fanpage, can you tell me how to create?? Do you have an idea to create an layout background in FB??

    13. I’m not sure why people hate the feature. I sometimes post questions. My friends are responsive enough, though. But the poll feature makes things better. It’s fun connecting with friends this way. Does this feature work only with Fanpages? It doesn’t appear on my profile when I checked. Or, perhaps, not yet.

      • Analisa says:

        Dave, you should be able to use Questions on your profile too. I think it’s more annoying when used on profiles than on Pages, because that’s when the virality really comes into play. You start seeing them in your newsfeed more if your friends are asking and responding to Questions. If a Page does it, you only see the Question if you are a fan.

    14. Wondering if i can add an image with the Questions? And which size?

      Like with the sandwiches my ideas:

      A/ Just have an image of a sandwich
      or bettter yet
      B/ Have the mosted voted image on display (think this is more an app.

    Speak Your Mind

    *