Discord native polls vs Subo : a comparative look at polling features

updated on 25 April 2024

All the other cool kids had it: Reddit, Telegram, Whatsapp, X, Guilded, Facebook Groups, etc. All had native polls built inside their main UI. But for a long time, Discord had no native poll feature, requiring its users to choose between hacky reaction polls or third-party apps like Subo the Survey Bot (see our previous post about using Discord emojis to create polls). 

After months of rumors and testing, Discord finally unveiled  in April 2024 one its most requested features: native polls. So what does the feature look like, and how does it compare to third-party other poll bots like Subo the Survey Bot?

1. Discord's native polls

Discord native polls are designed to integrated flawlessly with Discord’s sleek interface.


The process of setting up a poll is intuitive, with users able to initiate a poll directly from the message bar using the `+` button.

Create a native poll from the message menu
Create a native poll from the message menu

The process of creating a poll is self-explanatory: enter a question, a few answers, optional emojis, and press 'Post'. Couldn't be any easier.

Enter up to 10 answer options, select single or multiple answers
Enter up to 10 answer options, select single or multiple answers

Polls are open by default for 24 hours, with several options to change that duration from 1 hour to 1 week.

Duration options
Duration options

There is also an option to end a poll immediately at any time by hitting the `...`button over the poll's message and opening the contextual message menu.

End Poll at any time
End Poll at any time

The poll opens after hitting the 'Post' button. All server members with acccess to the channel can participate in the poll by selecting their answer(s) then hitting the 'Vote' button.

Advantages of using Discord's native poll feature

One of the key advantages of Discord’s native poll feature is its ease of use. All controls are built-in, with no slash command. And obviously, no need to install a third-party bot.

The other is its sleek UI with new visual elements such as animated bars, which make polls from third-party bots look less attractive in comparison. 

Native poll real-time results
Native poll real-time results

Clicking on the number of votes displays the details of who voted for what. 

Detailed results per participant
Detailed results per participant

Limitations of Discord's native polls

While feedback from the Discord community has been generally positive, more advanced users were fast to notice the many limitations of the feature:

  • there is a limit of maximum 10 answer options
  • each answer option is limited to 55 characters
  • there is a choice to make the question single-choice or multi-choice, but no limit for the maximum number of answers
  • any user with 'send messages' permission in a channel can create polls too, which means that server owners can't control who can use the feature and limit it to mods only. Some early users reported how a server can quickly become a mess. Update: Discord listened to users and recently deployed a new permission to only allow certain roles to create polls: 
  • generally speaking, the feature misses most of the bells and whistles from specialized poll bots like Subo the Survey Bot that empower mods to create a poll fit for purpose. Let's look at some differences in the next paragraph.
4-20-24 Update: to only allow certain users to create native Discord polls in your server, change permissions in your server settings 
4-20-24 Update: to only allow certain users to create native Discord polls in your server, change permissions in your server settings 

2. Subo the Survey Bot’s Capabilities

Subo the Survey Bot is a free third-party bot that was launched in 2022 on the Discord platform. The app, developed by survey industry veterans, is exclusively dedicated to surveys and polls to help server owners understand their community. Currently used by over 11k Discord servers, the bot can be downloaded for free on the Discord App directory.

Like Discord native polls, Subo makes it possible to create polls in a Discord server, but the app's focus and 2-year advance made it possible for the third-party app to boast a long list of additional features.

2.1 Multiple customization options for polls

Subo proposes additional customization options (15 as of this writing) to personalize polls.

  • Role required: Option to restrict who can create polls/surveys based on role on the server. 
  • Answer options: Ability to add up to 24 answer options (vs. 10 for native polls). 
  • Virtually no character limit for answer options (vs 55 characters for Discord polls) in emoji-only mode: in this mode, participants vote on an emoji representing the full-length answer. 
  • Max answers: option to restrict the maximum number of answers (eg. '3' for a top 3 vote). 
  • Edit mode: made a mistake? No worries, Subo makes it possible to edit polls and surveys. At any time, poll creators can edit text, add or remove option answers, change any advanced option such as the channel where the poll is posted. 
  • Time limit: more granular options for poll duration (as many days, hours and minutes as needed), or no time limit at all (just close when you want to). 
  • Realtime results: Options to show the aggregated results publicly before voting (case with Discord native polls), only to participants after voting, or or keep results hidden.
  • Final reveal: option to reveal results publicly after the end of a poll with hidden results. 
  • Privacy: option to show who voted for what transparently (case with Discord native polls), to only share the information with the poll creator, OR to make the poll completely anonymous.
  • Option to include an image, thumbnail, or custom color in the poll embed. 
  • Vote change: option to allow participants to change their vote (case with Discord native polls) or not. 
  • Role rewards and XP to thank participants for voting. 
  • Option to schedule when the poll/survey starts ahead of time
Anonymous poll with image and ping
Anonymous poll with image and ping

2.2. Full multi-question surveys/forms

Polls are a good way to ask a single closed, multi-choice question, but sometimes you may want to ask open questions and/or multiple questions. That's where surveys and forms come handy.

  • Subo also allows the creation of full, private surveys that can contain multiple questions, open or closed (allowing multiple answers or not)
  • Surveys can be posted inside a Discord server, and respondents complete them in private threads.
  • Survey results can be shared in the server and the data exported for further analysis.
Full survey (with participant name only visible to creator) with multiple questions, closed and open, and a custom thumbnail and color in the invite
Full survey (with participant name only visible to creator) with multiple questions, closed and open, and a custom thumbnail and color in the invite

More information about Subo's surveys.

Feature Comparison summary


Conclusion: Discord native polls are user-friendly but limited

  • Discord's native polls have made a stylish debut, offering a user-friendly way to engage communities within the platform. For many users and everyday scenarios, this feature will suffice, rendering the /poll commands from generalist bots like MEE6 or Dyno somewhat obsolete. The streamlined interface and straightforward setup make it compelling enough for simple use cases.
  • However, Discord’s native polls lack the intricate features found in a specialized third-party poll bot like Subo the Survey Bot. Advanced community managers, creators, and professionals seeking tailored experiences may find themselves yearning for more. Subo’s robust capabilities — customizable multi-question surveys, anonymity, role-based permissions, dynamic rewards, etc — set it apart as the go-to choice for those seeking sophistication. 
  • But here’s the twist: Discord’s native poll feature is merely at its first iteration. The future remains uncertain, but as the platform evolves, we might witness enhancements that surprise us. Perhaps Discord will prioritize polls further, adding bells and whistles we can’t yet imagine.
  • In the meantime, Subo the Survey Bot stands firm, dedicated to its mission of elevating polls and surveys, and Discord’s commitment to its ecosystem of specialized third-party apps is unwavering. So Subo users can rest assured that their tool will always be a step ahead, adapting to community needs and staying true to its purpose. 

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