After holding forth about the future business applications of Facebook, I decided I should put my money where my mouth is, and do a quick little research study.
Facebook makes that easy for you with their polling feature.
Here's what I wanted to know -- what kinds of applications for business would interest people who are already on Facebook? So here's the question I asked:
What application for business would you be most likely to use on Facebook?
[a] A way to post RFPs / find suppliers?
[b] A way to bid on RFPs / find projects?
[c] A project team collaboration function / group?
[d] A way to sell content like e-books / e-learning?
[e] I would not use any of these
Facebook polling is so inexpensive, I thought I could afford to get 100 responses, which would cost about $25.00. [I do want to be clear that this is not a scientific poll, it's just a way to take a quick read on something.]
I couldn't select exactly the group I wanted -- freelancers and SMB people. So I went for age as a proxy, and asked for age 35 - 49. I was surprised that the oldest selection was age 49, actually, since surely there are many people using Facebook over the age of 49. I know several well, in fact.
I sat excitedly at my computer waiting for the colorful dashboard to show results. Which it did, looking like the chart above, with several other colorful charts breaking down my poll by age and gender.
When I had 49 responses, Facebook shut down the poll.
Before they did that, here's what I learned:
- About half would be interested in one of the proposed functions
- About half indicated no interest in any of them
- The most popular of the proposed functions was [c], the project team collaboration function. This is the one I want too.
I received an e-mail from Facebook explaining that they had shut down my poll.
Facebook Polls are intended for market research purposes. Facebook Polls created to promote products or services or that are otherwise deemed not appropriate are removed accordingly. Along these lines, Facebook has automatically removed your Facebook Polls (order #Facebook Poll).
To see the final results, go to: link
Responses Desired: 100
Actual Responses Received: 40
Price per Response: $0.25
Your credit card has been charged an additional $10.00 This completes your order.
The Facebook team
I'm surprised that they thought this was promotion. So maybe it was deemed otherwise inappropriate. Perhaps the only people allowed to do research on Facebook itself are officially authorized. Perhaps using the word Facebook in the poll flagged my little project. As far as I know, they can't stop me from blogging about it.
Anyone have some insight into this?
I was thinking it would be cool to hire some savvy Elance developer to just make me the application I want, but now I'm reassessing.
I'll be skiing in Banff. If you're there, say hi. I'll be the person doing the face-plant right in front of the lift line, wearing a fuzzy hat with ear flaps [that looks really cute, actually]. So I likely won't have the strength to post after a hard day of skiing. See you in the new year! And thanks for all the reading and the comments, which really make it fun to keep at it.