This is an advertising product that is designed to generate revenue. Users can able to create a poll question and up to five answer choices, and then target the poll based on gender, age, location or profile keyword.
The polls are not free – Facebook charges you a variable amount based on how quickly you want results. You tell Facebook how many results you want and how much you are wiling to pay per result. The more you offer, the more quickly results are returned to you. Prices currently range from $.10 to $1.00 per data point, plus an initial $5 insertion fee. Facebook will estimate the completion time for the poll based on how much you bid.
Polls appear in Facebook users’ news feed.
I imagine brand advertisers and other market researchers will love this product. It will give them quick and targeted insights into the tastes and preferences of Facebook’s 20+ million users in near real-time.