Facebook tests larger visual format for Questions

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By Brittany Darwell

Facebook appears to be testing a new format for its Questions product, which includes large photos that users can click on to respond.

We saw the social network testing this on its own “Known Issues on Facebook” and “Facebook Tips” pages, but could not recreate the format with our own pages or personal accounts. It’s unclear whether this is an exclusive feature for Facebook or a test of something that may roll out to other users. We’ve reached out to the company for more information.

[Update 8/22/12 9:04 a.m. PT - Facebook said in a statement, “We are currently testing a feature that allows page administrators to attach a photo to a question. This is still a test, and we have no further details to share at this time.”]

The new layout is much more noticeable in News Feed and includes subtle animations when users mouse over the different options. After users choose an answer, they will see how others voted. This aspect appears in the same format that Facebook originally used for Questions.

A version of new format also appears on mobile devices when users click through from a friend’s News Feed story. Users can respond by touching the image they want to vote for.

Questions is a product that never seemed to take off as the polling and recommendation feature Facebook seemed to envision, and subsequently, we haven’t seen the company put much development into it. It was nearly a year after the product launched that Facebook even made it possible to see and answer questions from mobile devices. Users still can’t ask questions via mobile.

Marketers, however, often find Questions useful for engaging their fans. We can imagine this larger format being especially effective if it is extended to more pages. And with Facebook testing page post ads in News Feed, this may become a new interactive advertising opportunity.