Facebook Questions defers to the crowd

Facebook Questions allows users to poll their friends on everything from the best new movie to the closest Thai restaurant.

Facebook Questions allows users to harness the power of the crowd.

Facebook today announced it would introduce a rejiggered version of its Facebook Questions functionality – one that is fueled mostly by friends and family. The new Facebook Questions – or just Questions, for short – allows users to post queries to their Facebook feed, and view a graphic representation of the most popular responses. Think of the whole thing like an instant and accessible poll.

"We noticed that people were frequently asking for opinions ('what are your favorite restaurants in New York?') or hoping to learn about their friends ('what was your favorite movie as a kid, something you watched over and over?'). For most of these questions," Facebook's Adrian Graham wrote on the Facebook blog, "experts weren't going to be the best source for advice. The answers to these questions are meaningful or interesting because you know your friends and your friends know you."

The updated Facebook Questions will be rolled out over the next few weeks. But if you want to get your hands on the feature immediately, you can download it here. Questions is being billed as a kind of alternative to Google – the idea being that Google is just a faceless algorithm, while the Facebook crowd actually knows your likes and dislikes, and can tailor its answers accordingly.

"Questions will also enable you to cast a wider net. Now, when your friends answer one of your questions, their friends can answer it too," Graham noted. "For more unusual questions, you can get advice from a broader group of people, but to keep it most relevant we filter the answers to show you first what your friends think."

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