Where is the world of research heading going into the future? How integrated will social media become with research analytics?
These two questions perhaps gained some clarity at the beginning of the month with the announcement of the newly formed partnership between Twitter and Nielsen. This partnership could have huge ramifications on the media world. The partnership seeks to add research polls and "Twitter Surveys" under the promoted tweets section on the Twitter website. The partnership has benefits for both companies, as Twitter will gain slotted revenues by meditating research information and Nielsen will build new structures for research results on social media.
While the partnership is a win-win for the two companies, is it a win for the public? I question whether those on Twitter will actively participate in the surveys. There is little incentive to participate in the surveys outside of the pure interest of the public. Even then, respondents may have a concentrated interest in the studies and therefore sway the results. This would additionally deprive the surveys of the ability to generalize, as only the opinionated would respond.
To be successful, I believe that the surveys and polls not only have to provide incentive for completion, but also must be aware of the respondents. The surveys will fail if they don't generate interest from the wide public. While the partnership between Nielsen and Twitter has potential to build a strong future in the research world, I will need to see the initial results of the research before declaring this a main direction of research going into the future.