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Facebook introduces Questions

Facebook has just launched a new question-and-answer feature that can help members get answers to virtually any kind of question. The “crowd sourcing” feature, known simply as Questions, has been in beta testing since last July but is now available to everyone.

Say you are in New York City for the day and want to know the best place to go for a burger. Rather than rely on a random Google search or an anonymous review, you can ask the question on Facebook and get recommendations from people you know and trust. Looking for a new smartphone? Ask your Facebook friends. Want to decide between two different movies? Put them to a vote and let your friends decide for you.

Questions is being rolled out to all Facebook members over the coming weeks. If you would like to access Questions sooner, you can visit Facebook Questions and get an immediate upgrade.

To ask a question, click Question at the top of your home page or profile or through the Questions link on the left side of the page. You have the option to let people fill in their own responses, or you can add answers and turn your question into a poll. If you want to respond to a question, you can answer it directly from your News Feed. To vote on an answer, you just click the radio button next to your chosen option.

Keep in mind that when you ask a question, it’s shared in your News Feed. If your friends answer or follow the question, then it will be shared with their friends, and so on. Although anyone can respond to a question, Facebook will filter the responses, so you always see what your friends said first, followed by friends of friends, and then everyone else.

Facebook will also track your Questions activity. You can see that activity – and your friends Questions activity – by clicking on the Questions link on the left side of your home page.

Any activity on Questions will be governed by your existing privacy settings. That means if your posts are restricted to Friends Only, then that’s who will receive the initial question. However, any response to your question by your friends will also be seen by their friends. The very nature of Questions is to encourage as wide a response as possible, so it’s important not to post any question or response that you wouldn’t want the whole world to see.

While crowd sourcing can be a very useful tool, there is some downside. Parents who are Facebook friends with their teens will no doubt be familiar with existing third-party apps that can be customized to ask questions like “Would you go out with Dave?” or “Do you think Alison is a good kisser?” Well, expect more of the same, as Facebook has just made those questions a whole lot easier to ask!

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