What’s the saying? ‘Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one’. If you are courting opinion or just want to know what people think, Instagram has your back. Introduced back in October 2017, a new Poll sticker was introduced for Instagram Stories that allows any user to stage a poll on a post asking any question you like.
Also see our article How To Create a Poll on Instagram
The new system hasn’t been universally welcomed though, but I’ll get to that later. First, more about this new feature and how to vote on Instagram polls.
Instagram have been busy introducing their new stickers but one in particular stands out. The Poll sticker. You set up a Story post, add a sticker, ask a question, give the option for two answers, publish and wait for the answers to roll in. It is as simple as that.
The new feature has been embraced by individuals and businesses. The former can ask any question they like of their friends and followers while businesses are predominantly using it for engagement and to get feedback on products, branding and other business decisions. It is a good move by Instagram but it does need a little tweaking in places.
How to set up an Instagram poll
To initiate an Instagram poll, follow these simple instructions.
- Create an Instagram Story post. Make it about the question, or at least related to it so the poll remains in context.
- Add a Poll sticker to your post. A poll setup screen should appear.
- Type your question where it says ‘Ask a question’.
- Type your answer options where it says ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. You can leave it as a simple binary option or make the answers more descriptive. They can be more nuanced if you prefer.
- Select the checkmark to complete your poll and the sticker can be placed on your post.
- Finish off your post and publish it when you’re ready.
That’s all there is to setting up an Instagram poll. It is quite a flexible system but does have limitations. You can ask any question you like but you only have two answer options. You also only have 26 characters for each answer so you have to be creative.
How to vote on an Instagram poll
Voting on Instagram polls is about as easy as it gets which is why everyone is using them. As you land on the story post featuring a poll, you just select the answer you want from the screen. The results are collated and made available to the person who created the post.
You can only vote once and your answer will be visible to the person who created the poll.
Managing Instagram polls
If you have published a poll and want to know how it’s doing, that is easy too. If you have push notifications enabled, you will be notified every time someone votes on your poll. If you don’t, just open stories and select the viewer list or analytics option.
Select the eye icon and you can see who viewed it, who voted and how they voted. The center of the page shows the number of answers for each option so you can quickly see how it is going.
It is a good idea to keep an eye on your poll results as they are only accessible while the story is live. Once the story expires, so do the poll results so you need to keep an eye on things while it is running.
The trouble with Instagram polls
I mentioned earlier that Instagram polls haven’t been universally welcomed. The main reason for that is because your answers are not anonymous. Twitter allows you to run polls and keeps answers private but Instagram does not. It seems lots of users didn’t realize that even though you are notified the first time you answer a poll.
Users have complained that their answers are made available to the person who started the poll. Many respondents to those hundreds of ‘Am I cute in this dress’ polls said they have been answering no to all of them only to realize their answer would be fully visible to the person who placed the poll.
In some ways this is good. It helps keeps you honest and will go some way to eliminating some of the poisonous answers anonymous polling can produce. On the other hand, it isn’t so good as many people are too scared or too shy to publicly voice their real opinion.
What do you think of Instagram polls? Have you used them? Do you think answers should be public? Tell us about your experience below!