Now that we have had time to play with Instagram polls – testing them on our platforms, creating story polls for our clients, and seeing other innovative ways to ask questions – it’s time to address the elephant in the room. How do we feel about the anonymity factor of this feature?
People began voting freely when the new sticker first dropped in stories and assumed the featured works the same as Twitter polls. However, Instagram followed the same pattern as their older sibling, Facebook, by making their voting results public. People took to Twitter to complain about this and shared their thoughts on the violation of their trust. Every major tech and marketing publication put out PSA’s warning their readers that these polls were, in fact, public information.
i’ve been voting on those instagram polls thinking they were anonymous apparently they are not i’ve told about 5 people i don’t like them
— dylan (@_dlnw) October 7, 2017
I've been having trust issues ever since I found out Instagram polls aren't anonymous
— Jenn (@Jenn_Reyess) October 12, 2017
Some people believe this is a positive aspect of the feature because people will show their true colors. I believe that people will continue to vote more honestly on Twitter because of their anonymity. While Instagram has been working towards more transparency, in brand partnerships especially, they have to realize that transparency here will likely skew the results people and brands see when they ask their audience for opinions.
me voting on instagram polls but then realising that the person can see what each person voted pic.twitter.com/OKIVgwOeOj
— john (@Scarlet4UrMa) October 4, 2017
The anonymity factor works both ways here. You might vote differently knowing that people can see how you voted at the risk of hurting someone’s feelings. On the other hand, the person running the poll may ask different questions in fear of feeling judged. Overall, I think this is a tiny breach of privacy that I don’t want going down in my DM’s.
That being said, my overall prediction is that people will take to Instagram for honest answers on topics that are much more surface level, such as this or that outfit choice, what kind of food should I order for lunch, should I buy these shoes? Twitter will likely remain the safe place for unbiased feedback on controversial or philosophical questions plaguing their existence. However, I firmly believe we should all be retreating to the Reddit community for honest feedback on life’s greater questions.