I’m pleased to announce the newest, easiest way to participate in professional conversations happening in over a million LinkedIn Groups today. Welcome to the first LinkedIn application within Groups – Polls – that will be rolling out to all members over the next few days.

A key reason our members use LinkedIn Groups is to share insights with like-minded professionals. Voting on polls now provides the same quick convenience of clicking “Like”, but with also the richer point of view of a comment.

We’ve also seen in testing that many members elaborate further on their choice in the familiar comments area that we’ve provided once you vote in a poll.

Plus, in open groups, any member of LinkedIn can vote on a poll, just as they can “Like” any discussion or comment in an open group.

What’s new for Group Managers?

Moderators of Groups have always shared with us that they’re looking for easy, time sensitive ways to generate conversations within the group. Sharing an article or blogging your thoughts on the latest topics takes a while. Now, creating a poll provides a simple way to unlock the insights of the members of the group.

Poll creation follows the same rules managers have set up for moderating discussion creation, including any requirements for approval in the Submissions Queue.

We’ve also provided an additional level of control: by default, any member of the group can create a poll. However, in groups where the conversation is less grassroots and more manager driven, moderators can restrict the creation of new polls to managers and moderators from their Group Settings.