Create and publish your own personal polls, with InstaPoll for iPhone

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Which is it: Android or iOS? Barca or Real? Coke or Pepsi? Blue or Red? If you’d like to design your very own such dichotomous poll and send it out for people to answer via SMS or email (and to iPhone users who have installed a certain FREE app), then read on.

InstaPoll is a free iPhone app that lets users create instant, simple polls, that can then be seen by the app community and answered. It is a great way to interact and get some sort of gauge on opinions surrounding an issue, as long as the issue is a binary one (black or white), and as long as you don’t put too much stock in the answers and take them seriously.

Instapoll is designed with a strong VISUAL component, and is more about fun than scientific rigor.

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Not knowing what question to ask to test this, in my first poll I (rather lamely) asked whether the rain in Spain fell on the ‘plain’ or the ‘main’(?). Strangely, responses came promptly, and for hours afterwards I would get notifications on my iPad of new votes coming in. People were obviously having fun with this app!

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Putting a poll together couldn’t be simpler. Insert two (or three) images (which you can do instantly via Google Image Search from within the app or take your own picture), categorize your poll, add a question and two alternatives, and then publish. This simplicity makes it very easyto get up and running, in true iPhone spirit, but it also restricts you to a dichotomy, with no option to use, say, a scale of 5 or to add multiple questions to a poll.

You can see what the process of putting together a poll looks like below, where I ask the question of whether your next smartphone will be ‘Android or other’:

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The verdict:

Instapoll is a very nice app, geared mainly towards having fun rather than conducting scientific polls. There are more sophisticated web apps out there than attempt to capture and gauge users opinions (see our previously published article on the subject), including more sophisticated polls than a mere binary duality.

Still, for what it is Instapoll is quite fun, and I can see a certain kind of user liking it quite a bit.  After using this app it occurred to me that there is room for a more serious app to administer polls, one that could help design polls as well as administer them, calculate demographics and statistical significance in the backend, etc. Imaging passing out an iPad during thanksgiving dinner to ask relatives what they thought of each item on the menu (for example), or a community activist using her iPad to ask people on the street what they thought about certain issues, etc.

Check out Instapoll (iOS).