Twitter has begun conducting online surveys of visitors to its homepage, Twitter.com, in order to get a sense of how they use the website and whether or not they’ll be returning any time soon.
The 5-minute survey includes 10 questions in total, such as “How did you come to Twitter today?” “Do you have an account on Twitter?” and “How likely are you to visit Twitter again?”
Twitter confirmed to TPM that the survey is being conducted by a division with its company, Twitter Research, but declined to elaborate on when the surveying began, how many visitors to the Twitter homepage are being surveyed, and what triggers the survey prompt to appear for certain users in the first place.Here are screenshots of Twitter’s homepage survey questions, captured by this reporter when visiting the site recently:
Overall, the survey appears to be geared toward gauging the interest of new visitors to Twitter and casual users.
In January, Twitter posted solicitations on Craigslist offering up to a $100 Amazon gift card for users who fill out a questionnaire on their Twitter usage habits, as Mediabistro reported.
In this case, the survey does not offer any similar reward.
The survey software itself was built by another company, Userzoom, which specializes in online “user experience research,” that is, giving Web companies a closer look at just how users are interacting with their products and what users like and dislike about them.
“More research, more vendors and more software is being used for this purpose today than ever before,” said Alfonso de la Nuez, Userzoom’s co-founder and co-CEO, in a brief phone interview with TPM. “That’s the main reason Twitter has chosen to engage with us.”
De la Nuez said that Twitter had created an account on Userzoom around a year ago, but that he was not sure precisely how and when Twitter began using his company’s survey products.
Userzoom has observed an increase in activity from its users this week, suggesting Twitter only recently launched the survey on its homepage.
Twitter itself has recently undergone some sharp changes that affect user experience, unveiling a new search function, updated mobile apps for the iPhone and Android smartphones, a separate video-sharing app called Vine that works along with Twitter and independently of it, and colored photo filters to compete with Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
Asked whether or not the recent changes spurred the survey, Twitter declined to elaborate.
The company is revealing more about its Twitter Research team, however, by inviting interested candidates the department. A recent job listing for a “user researcher” includes such responsibilities as “balance company goals with user needs,” “help product teams more deeply understand our users, brands, and developers,” and “assist the team in making critical design decisions affecting the user experience.”
That echoes Userzoom’s goals for customers interested in user experience research.
“The detail of insights you can get about customer behavior is extremely cool,” de la Nuez told TPM. “It allows designers and developers to make better decisions…to design what users want, rather than what a designer or developer thinks they want.”
Still, Userzoom values user privacy and told TPM that in the case of Twitter, the software was only collecting whatever questions users elected to answer on their own, nothing more.