Facebook Quietly Pulls Polls (Update)

We got a tip that Facebook Polls, the social networking service’s business tool that enabled anyone to create a paid poll targetting a pre-defined group of users, is no longer available. The link that used to redirect to the service is now effectively forwarded to the Facebook homepage, and you won’t find any reference of Facebook Polls anywhere on the company’s business or advertising pages. What happened?

Update: Facebook has acknowledged putting Facebook Polls on hold following a technical migration last October which raised some questions internally about the priority for the product. They advise users to switch to one of the many polling applications available on the service.

“The ability to create Facebook Polls is no longer available on the public site, though users may still receive Facebook Polls created internally by Facebook. Facebook is exploring options for making a polling product publicly available again in the future but has no definite plans to discuss at this point.”

When Facebook Polls launched back in June 2007, we called it a dream product for brand marketers and market researchers. Users could create a poll and target users based gender, age, location or profile keyword. Facebook charged a variable fee based on how quickly you wanted results, and based on how many results you wanted and how much you were wiling to pay per result. Prices ranged from $.10 to $1.00 per data point, plus an initial $5 insertion fee, and the polls appeared in Facebook users’ news feed so more people could become aware of the service.

Back then, Facebook had only 20+ million users on the social network – it has more than six times that amount today – and Polls seemed like a great way to monetize the appeal and engagement of Facebook’s user based on demographics. On the other hand, there was some criticism regarding the pricing and the fact that Facebook Polls delivered statistically insignificant results.

Anyone care to take a wild guess why they decided to pull the service?

(I have contacted Facebook PR and will update this post if and when I get word back.)