How to Make a Poll on Instagram

Ask your followers questions that they can answer

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
Introduction

Likes, comments, direct messages, and stories are the most obvious ways to interact with your Instagram followers. Still, polls are a great (and potentially fun) way for your followers to participate in your feed.

Two Instagram features allow you to create polls. You can create a poll in an Instagram story or in a direct message.

Since full functionality for the stories and direct messaging features can only be used on the official Instagram mobile app, you can only create Instagram polls on the app and not at via a web browser at Instagram.com.

How to Make a Poll on Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are casual photos or short videos that help you share what you're doing at the moment with your followers. When you post a new story, it appears in your followers' home tabs as a bubble at the top of the feed and disappears automatically after 24 hours.

  1. Open the Instagram app on your iOS or Android device, and if necessary, sign in to your account or switch to the account you want to use.

  2. Select your Story profile picture bubble at the top of the home feed or swipe right on the screen from the home feed to access the story camera tab.

  3. Take a photo or record a video to create your story. Use filters, stickers or editing effects to customize your story exactly the way you want.

  4. From the story preview tab, select the sticker button at the top of the screen.

  5. Select the Poll sticker.

    Your Story icon, photo, and stickers in Instagram
  6. Type a question you want to ask your followers in the Ask a question... field.

    It can be a yes/no question (which are the poll's default answer) or you can ask a question that involves customizing two different answers (such as black/white, hot/cold, today/tomorrow, on/off, etc.)

  7. If you'd like to customize your two poll answers, select the Yes button and type your desired answer in the field. Do the same with the No button.

  8. When you're happy with your poll, select Done in the top right corner.

    Poll options in Instagram story
  9. Your poll will appear over your story. You can select and hold your finger on it to drag it around your screen and you can even pinch two fingers on it and drag them outward or inward to customize its size.

  10. Once you're happy with how your poll looks on your story, select Your Story in the bottom left of the screen to post it to your stories, select Close Friends to share it only with who you've chosen as your closest friends in the app or select Send To and choose friends to send it to them.

How to Make a Poll in Instagram Direct Messages

Instagram direct messages are private messages you can send and receive from people who you follow and follow you back. You can have direct message conversations with individuals or groups.

  1. In the Instagram app, Access your direct message inbox by selecting the messages button (which looks like a paper airplane) in the top right corner of the home feed.

  2. Select the pencil icon in the top right corner to start a new message and choose your recipient/recipients. Or alternatively, select an existing message to continue the conversation.

    An even faster method for sending a poll as a direct message is to select the camera icon beside any existing message in your inbox. This bypasses having to open the message conversation first.

  3. In the new or existing message conversation, select the blue camera button in the message field at the bottom to bring up the camera tab.

    DM icon, list of contacts, and blue camera icon
  4. Take a photo or record a video for your message. Customize your photo or video message the way you want with a filter, stickers, edits or anything else you'd like.

  5. From the photo/video message preview, select the sticker button at the top of the screen.

  6. Select the POLL sticker.

  7. Type a question you want to ask your message recipient/recipients in the Ask a question... field. You can ask it as a yes/no question or you can ask a question that has two different custom answers.

  8. To customize your two poll answers, select the YES button and type your answer in the field. Repeat with the NO button.

    Photo, stickers, and poll questions in Instagram direct message
  9. When you've finished creating your poll, select Done in the top right corner.

  10. Your poll will appear over your photo or video message. Select and hold it to drag it around your screen or pinch two fingers and drag them outward or inward to customize its size.

  11. When you're finished, select Done in the top right corner.

  12. Direct messages are allowed to be replayed by default, but you can change this to be viewed only once by selecting VIEW ONCE at the bottom of the screen. If you want to keep the message in the chat indefinitely so it never disappears, you can select KEEP IN CHAT.

    If you want to allow your recipients time to think about their answer, it might help set the message to ALLOW REPLAY or KEEP IN CHAT.

  13. Select the friend or friends profile picture bubble in the bottom center of the screen to send your photo/video message or add other recipients by selecting Send to Others and selecting people from the list to send it to them.

When to Use Story Polls vs. Direct Message Polls

Instagram offers two excellent ways to conduct polls, but which one should you use? And when? Here are some tips:

Use story polls when:

  • You have a massive following that you want to keep engaged.
  • You have a general question that can apply to everyone.
  • You want to better understand what your followers do or don't like about the content you post.

Use direct message polls when:

  • You want to gather information from a more intimate group of friends rather than a large group of strangers.
  • Your question is specific and only applies to certain people.
  • You don't want to overwhelm all your followers with too much story content and risk losing followers because of it.