What are you saying? ‘Ideas are like a **hole, everyone has one’. If you’re courting your opinion or just want to know what people are thinking, Instagram has your back. Introduced in October 2017, a new Poll sticker was introduced for Instagram Stories that allows any user to poll a post asking any question you want.
The new system was not universally welcomed, though, but I’ll get to that later. First, more about this new feature and how to vote in Instagram polls.
Instagram has been busy promoting its new stickers, but one in particular stands out. Survey sticker. You create a Story post, add a sticker, ask a question, offer two answer options, post and wait for the answers. It’s that simple.
The new feature has been embraced by individuals and businesses. First, businesses can use it mainly for engagement and to get feedback on products, branding, and other business decisions, so they can ask their friends and followers any question they like. Good move by Instagram but needs some tweaking in some places.
How to set up an Instagram poll
Follow these simple instructions to start an Instagram poll.
- Create an Instagram Story post. Make it relevant, or at least relevant, to the question so that the survey stays in context.
- Add a Poll sticker to your post. A survey setup screen should appear.
- Write your question where it says ‘Ask a question’.
- Write your answer choices 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 want.
- Select the checkmark to complete your survey and the sticker can be placed on your post.
- Finish your post and publish when you’re ready.
That’s all it takes to create an Instagram poll. It’s a fairly flexible system, but it has limitations. You can ask any question you want, 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 in the Instagram poll
Voting on Instagram polls is as easy as it gets, so everyone uses them. When you come to a story post with a poll, simply select the answer you want from the screen. The results are collated and presented to the person who created the post.
You can only vote once and your answer will be visible to the poll creator.
Managing Instagram polls
If you’ve posted a survey and want to know how, that’s 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 the stories and select the viewer list or analytics option.
Select the eye icon and you can see who is viewing, who voted and how. The middle of the page shows the response count for each option, so you can quickly see how it goes.
It is a good idea to keep your eyes peeled, as your survey results can only be accessed while the news is being published. When the story is over, also do the survey results so you have to keep an eye on things as you work.
Problem with Instagram polls
I mentioned earlier that Instagram polls are not universally welcome. The main reason for this is that your answers are not anonymous. Twitter lets you run polls and keep answers private, but Instagram doesn’t. It seems that many users are not aware of this, even if you are notified the first time you answer a survey.
Users complained that their answers were given to the person who started the survey. Many of the hundreds of ‘Am I cute in this dress’ survey respondents said they answered no to all of them, only to realize that their answers would be completely visible to the surveyor.
In some ways this is fine. It helps you be honest and finds a way to eliminate some of the toxic responses that anonymous surveys can generate. On the other hand, this is not so good as many people are too scared or too shy to express their true opinions publicly.
What do you think of Instagram polls? Did you use them? Do you think the answers should be public? Tell us about your experience below!