Man City try out Facebook polls, as social media platforms try out real-time engagement

It was only last week when Facebook rolled out its new GIF poll feature, allowing users to vote on their answers to questions based on an above GIF.

The first thing you think of when a new feature arrives on a platform you use daily is what you can actually do with it. And for a few weeks, there’s always a lot of new attempts, especially from brands, creators and sports teams – just to get a feel for what the platform can do.

Already, Manchester City have been jumping onto the new poll feature in order to see what the fuss is about, and yesterday created their first poll in an attempt to engage with fans in a new way on Facebook.

City’s first attempt asks fans who they think is the better boxer, midfielder (and makeshift left-back) Fabian Delph of striker Gabriel Jesus. But you get the feeling that there’s quite a bit more where that came from in the future.

Over the last few weeks, on Instagram, football clubs have been getting used to a similar feature: polls on the Stories platform. For the first few tries, most clubs were just getting used to what polls could do, but when Bayern Munich decided to incorporate polls into their matchday coverage, we caught a glimpse of something that could really change how clubs interact with their fans.

The German club used the poll feature to allow fans to direct the content they wanted to see, especially useful for creating immersive content for fans who can’t actually be at the ground on matchday. But for the Instagram itself it’s also a big deal: what seems like a small feature added to make things a little bit more fun could, potentially, become the best way for users to actually interact with clubs, brands and celebrities on the platform. Other than liking and commenting, there is really no other way of engaging. Polls, on the other hand, offer users a way to get involved in real time, an area where Twitter has always had the advantage.

For Facebook, that real-time area is also an issue. Whereas news, videos and other viral content has been the stronghold of the biggest social media platform, Facebook has also added a stories-style feature as well as live video streaming, but it could well be the poll feature that could change real-time engagement on the platform in the same way that it could do on Instagram.

As the big clubs get involved on both platforms, this could be a space to watch.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 597 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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