How to Make a Poll on Instagram

Ask your followers questions that they can answer

An image of a person editing an Instagram story on a smartphone.

Marco Verch/Flickr

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

Knowing how to make a poll on Instagram can open the doors to new information about what types of content your followers want to see more of in your posts, stories, live videos or IGTV videos. When people submit their answer to your poll, you'll be able to see how many votes each answer received and how each person voted.

There are two Instagram features that allow you to create polls. You can create a poll either on one of your stories 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 in 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 into your account or switch to the account you want to use.

  2. Tap 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, tap the sticker button at the top of the screen.

    A screenshot of the Instagram app for iOS.
  5. Tap the POLL sticker.

    A screenshot of the Instagram app for iOS.
  6. Type a question you want to ask your followers in the Ask a question... field.

    A screenshot of the Instagram app for iOS.

    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, simply tap the YES button and type your desired answer in the field. Do the same with the NO button.

    A screenshot of the Instagram app for iOS.
  8. When you're happy with your poll, tap Done in the top right corner.

  9. Your poll will appear over your story. You can tap 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.

    A screenshot of the Instagram app for iOS.
  10. Once you're happy with how your poll looks on your story, you can tap Your Story in the bottom left of the screen to post it to your stories, tap Close Friends to share it only with who you've chosen as your closest friends in the app or tap Send To > to select 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 tapping the messages button (which looks like a paper airplane) in the top right corner of the home feed.

    A screenshot of the Instagram app for iOS.
  2. Tap the plus sign (+) in the top right corner to start a new message and choose your recipient/recipients. Or alternatively, tap an existing message to continue the conversation.

    A screenshot of the Instagram app for iOS.

    An even faster method for sending a poll as a direct message is to tap 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, tap the blue camera button in the message field at the bottom to bring up the camera tab.

    A screenshot of the Instagram app for iOS.
  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, tap the sticker button at the top of the screen.

    A screenshot of the Instagram app for iOS.
  6. Tap the POLL sticker.

    A screenshot of the Instagram app for iOS.
  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.

    A screenshot of the Instagram app for iOS.
  8. To customize your two poll answers, tap the YES button and type your answer in the field. Repeat with the NO button.

  9. When you've finished creating your poll, tap Done in the top right corner.

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

    A screenshot of the Instagram app for iOS.
  11. When you're finished, tap 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 tapping 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 tap KEEP IN CHAT.

    If you want to allow your recipients some time to think about their answer, it might be helpful keep your direct message set to ALLOW REPLAY or KEEP IN CHAT.

  13. Tap 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 tapping 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 to great ways to conduct polls, but which one should you use? And when? Here are some tips:

Use story polls when:

  • You have a very large following that you want to keep engaged
  • You have a general question that can apply to everyone
  • You want to gain a better understanding of 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