As Facebook continues on its quest to push the wider adoption of stories, this week, they've added a new feature to their 'Messenger Stories' variation, in the form of Messenger Stories polls.
Today, we've launched Polls in Messenger Stories so you can easily get feedback from friends on anything that comes to mind like what to name your new puppy and other . pic.twitter.com/Td2ZBo5Fxv— Messenger (@messenger) May 30, 2018
As you can see from the example, you can now add a poll sticker to your Messenger story - to do this, you simply take a photo in the Messenger camera, then add a poll sticker from the stickers listing. You'll then have the option to add your question and answer options, and you can place the poll sticker anywhere on your image.
The addition makes sense - polls have proven popular on Instagram Stories, and you can already conduct polls in Messenger conversation threads, so adding them to Messenger Stories seems like a natural progression.
It also seems that Facebook's now actually calling this option Messenger Stories now, as opposed to 'Messenger Day', which was the title they used when the option was first launched - but then again, theoretically, you're adding these to Facebook Stories as well, as Facebook announced the merging of Messenger Day and Facebook Stories last November. In this respect, maybe they shouldn't be called 'Messenger Day' or 'Messenger Stories', just call them Facebook Stories and leave it at that.
I mean, that might be confusing, given that some functionalities only work on one or the other app, but it's probably no more confusing than being able to cross-post to Facebook Stories from both Messenger and Instagram with functionality that doesn't always exist on each specific platform.
Ever had 'hot thumb' from pushing at your phone screen after repeatedly trying to 'swipe up' on a Facebook Story that someone's cross-posted from Insta - which you can't actually swipe up on?
While Facebook's leadership team has repeatedly acknowledged that Stories are the future of social sharing, their approach to the format does still seem a little disjointed. I realize its probably not simple, from a back-end perspective, to make all the various functionalities in all their stories variations universally available in each app, but the ability to cross-post does jumble the threads a little bit.
Now, you'll be able to cross-post your Instagram Story to Facebook (and Messenger), and include an Instagram poll, which people won't be able to vote on in either of those other apps, while you'll also be able to post a Messenger poll to Facebook which you will be able to interact with - but you can't post it to Instagram.
(You may have to read that back to make sense of it).
The point is, Facebook's fragmented approach to stories is a little confusing, and while they're keen to push stories adoption, it does seem like they would benefit more from simply merging all stories options.
But then again, there are clearly positives to the platform's Stories approach. The Social Network recently reported that Facebook Stories now has 150 million daily active users - despite the option seemingly being unused, a ghost town for most, it's already nearly caught up to Snapchat's entire audience base.
The broader adoption of Stories will also enable Facebook to roll out its new AR tools, and stay at the forefront of the next big social shift (eventually towards VR, where Facebook is also developing its offerings).
In a smaller context, the addition of Messenger Stories polls, as noted, makes sense, and may help those looking to generate more engagement among their Messenger audience - which, given the growth of messaging apps, should already be getting more of your attention.
But don't be surprised if sometime soon you see a wider merging of all Facebook's various stories tools and functionalities, removing some of the confusion over what you're able to post where.