tPoll Twitterformat Proposal


The question /poll [(list, of, responses)]@user /poll response


The tPoll Twitterformat (e.g., Are Twitterformats awesome? /poll (yes, definitely, you bet)) is used to conduct quick straw-polls using Twitter. Followers can then reply to a user's latest poll with the tPoll command followed by one of the valid responses (e.g., @aral /poll definitely). It is up to the user's Twitter client to keep track of poll counts and to do spiffy things like display the results in a pie chart and allow the user to share their poll results with followers.

Raison d'être

Straw polls are a great way of getting quick feedback on things and several third-party services exist to make it easier to carry out polls with Twitter. But why use a third-party service at all when your own Twitter client can handle polls for you using the tPoll Twitterformat?

Manual usage

The tPoll Twitterformat is simple enough to be authored manually by users. e.g.,

Am I hot? /poll

The above creates a poll that accepts the default responses (yes, no)

@aral /poll no

The above helps inform Aral that his hotness is purely in his own head.

Implementation guide for Twitter client authors

A. Authoring

No special implementation for authoring is necessary (see Manual Usage, above). However you can make tPoll more visible to your users with the following optional implementation:

  1. Add the ability to create a poll to your user interface
  2. In the poll creation UI, ask for the question and separately provide an area for entering valid responses
  3. Tweet the poll when the user is done.

B. Presenting

When poll results are received:

  1. Keep a tally of the results and present them to the user in a visual manner (e.g., pie chart)
  2. (Optional) Allow the user to share the results with their followers (e.g., either in text or, for example, by sharing a picture of the pie chart)


This Twitterformat Proposal is released under a Creative Commons Attribution License.