By Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk
by Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk, president
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post asking for a moratorium on changes to social media sites. This request came after LinkedIn eliminated the services/products tabs from their business pages and Twitter started hinting at removing the hashtag, of all things. Apparently my pleas have fallen on deaf ears because now LinkedIn is doing away with their polls feature. The platform sounds perfectly lucid while explaining the decision:
At LinkedIn, we aim to provide a simple and efficient experience for our members. To do this, we’re continuously evaluating how our current products and features are used, and seeking new ways to focus our resources on building the best products. This sometimes results in the retirement of certain features. LinkedIn Polls in Groups will be retired on May 15, 2014. You can continue to engage with fellow members by posting a question to get the group’s response or sharing an update or participating in conversations directly on the LinkedIn homepage.
I don’t know about you, but after they eliminated Events in late 2012 I began to wonder what they were smoking in Mountain View. Since then, the changes have been coming fast and furious, making things difficult for those of us who try to stay abreast of all the modifications. Despite the constant flurry of updates this one really surprised me, since Polls for Groups seems to be one of the most beloved and interesting add-ons for the platform. It is an easy way for connections to share their opinions on a topic without having to take the time to add a full comment. Poll results have been used widely on social media and have created some thought-provoking articles and blog posts. I realize it isn’t a scientific research method, but it has been a very good way to test the waters on new services, get opinions on hot topics and see where the public lies on a particular issue.
I expect this has something to do with their new publishing platform, though I’m not yet sure exactly how it relates. All I can say is I am sad to see the Polls feature go. My strong suspicion is that a large number of other professionals in various fields will also actively miss the convenience and utility of this soon-to-be defunct feature.
Do I expect people to leave in droves to protest this decision? No. But LinkedIn is a bit less useful and therefore a bit less valuable to me as a business owner and a marketing professional. That’s the wrong direction for a networking platform to be moving, especially one that’s currently engaged in a strong and mostly successful effort to increase relevance and user base and be perceived as one of the major players.
What do you think – will you regret the loss, or even notice that polls are gone?