How to Make a Poll in Google+

Google Poll
Screen Capture

For a long time, Google+ lacked a real survey tool to let you poll the audience and ask them questions. You could fake one (more on that later), you could embed a survey from another tool (also more on that) but you couldn't create one natively. 

The "Classic" (current for most people)  version of Google+ allows you to create polls directly from your posts. 

  1. Create a new post.
  2. Click on the Polls icon. 
  3. Add a photo  (if desired).
  4. Keep adding more photos (if desired)
  5. Add at least two choices.
  6. Keep adding choices - if you add more choices than you do photos, Google plus polls will assign the photos to your first choices in order. 
  7. Choose who you want to share this with. 
  8. Post it. 

It's that easy. This way you can make polls about photo choices (Which dress should I wear when I accept my Academy Award?) ask questions about a single photo, or just ask questions that don't require a photo at all. 

Now, the bad news is that the new, updated Google+ does not have the poll button as an option. Perhaps it will be added in the future. You can still get alerts from poll results, so it looks a lot like the lack of poll ability is just that the feature isn't developed and not that it will never be developed.

For now, I'd suggest one of two options if you are busy viewing the preview version of the new Google +.  

Option number one:  Navigate back to classic Google +. 

  1. Click on the Back to classic G+ link on the bottom left side of the screen. 
  2. You may be prompted to stay with the preview of the new Google +. Ignore it. 
  3. When you're done creating your poll, you can switch back to the new version if you desire. 

Option two: Just make a form on Google Drive.

  1. Go to Google Drive.
  2. Click on the Create button and select Google Forms. 
  3. Create a Google Form with your desired questions. 
  4. Copy the generated link to your form. 
  5. Paste it into a post in Google+. 

Option three: Go old school. 

Now these are the instructions I listed back in 2011 when Google didn't have the possibility of polls from Google + at all. The social network was still very new, and Google had to do a lot of development to get it up to speed.   I owe a nod to Ahmed Zeeshan for being the first I saw formally suggest the idea.

Say you want to find out where your friends want to eat dinner. You can easily poll them.

  1. State your question in a post to your friends circle along with the instructions. 
  2. Offer each option as a separate comment to your first post.
  3. Everyone in your circle can then plus one their selection. 
  4. Count the plus ones to tally up the winning option. 
  5. Close the post for comments if you don't want anyone else adding an option or discussing the choices.

This isn't a true polling tool. It's not anonymous, and there's no way to prevent someone from voting for more than one option. However, it's an easy enough trick that it might stick around even after (or if) Google+ offers a more formal poll tool.  Using this method while leaving the comments open is very close to Google Moderator functionality, except that there's still no way to vote down an idea. You can only plus it. You can't minus it.