Should You Use Instagram’s New Polling Feature?

Vote yes or no.

Hard choices.

Heather Schwedel

Instagram Stories, the platform’s Snapchat-like feature for short-term sharing, has found a brand new medium to borrow from: democracy. Now when you post a video or photo to your story, you have the option of choosing a poll from the sticker menu for your followers to vote in. Yes, the platform found a way to add yet another opportunity for you to get feedback from your followers on your every decision. Hooray.

How might you use this new polling feature? What sort of poll questions can you expect to answer? Here are a few ideas.


Pondering life’s mysteries: At least all the ones that only require two answer options.

“What came first, the chicken or the egg?”

“Is Taylor Swift good or evil?”

“Were stories better when they were just on Snapchat?”


Riddles: Even when they can’t be answered with one of two options, they provide good old-fashioned fun and a dose of dada to your social media presence.

“Jimmy’s mother had four children. She named the first Monday. She named the second Tuesday, and she named the third Wednesday. What is the name of the fourth child?”

“Which is heavier? A pound of feathers or a pound of rocks?”

Compliment fishing: Most compliment-fishing on Instagram is implicit. Let’s go ahead and make it explicit.


“Do you like my new haircut?”

“Ugh I look totally grotesque here, don’t I?”

“Should I add this pic to my Bumble profile?”

Collaborative self-loathing: For those moments when you need to indulge the other side of the narcissism coin.

“Admit it, you hate me.”

“Which of my features is worse, my nose or my cankles?”

Busting down the fourth wall: On social media, everyone always wonders what’s really “real.” Let’s talk about it … or at least, let people vote on it.

“Plandid or candid?”

“Do you think I really read this book/ate this food item/slept in that wilderness?”

“How many photos do you think this was selected out of, less than or more than 10?”


“Have you ever liked one of my photos and then screenshotted it and sent it to a friend to make fun of?”

Data mining disguised as engagement: Don’t be surprised when polls become one more way to use your data to sell stuff.

“Have you ever thought about getting your teeth whitened?”

“So like … are you more likely to buy the waist trainer that I’ve endorsed?”

“Would you pay X amount for a monthly subscription of gummi vitamins?”

When you need advice: Who knows you better than your followers?

“The husb and I can’t decide: Should we have another kid?”

“I’m bleeding really badly. Should I go to the ER?”

Narc-ing: Watch who says yes and expose them.

“Soooo anyone know where I can buy some drugs?”

Actual drug deals: Watch who says yes and profit.

“Anyone want to buy some drugs?”

Actual democracy: It’s probably only a matter of time before we’re voting in political elections through Instagram Stories.

“2020: Pence/TBD or Winfrey/DuVernay?”

Facebook is already deciding elections anyway.