Polly’s teen polling app piggybacks on Snapchat

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Snapchat doesn’t technically have a developer platform, however that hasn’t stopped different startups from profiting from its new feature for attaching links to your Snaps and Tales. Sarahah was the primary, permitting folks to ask fellow Snappers for open-ended nameless suggestions. However the issue is that these requests might be met with cyberbullying.

Polly is a new teen sensation that’s equally unfold by way of Snapchat. However the light-weight polling apps for iOS and Android defend customers by permitting them to create a number of selection questions the place they outline the solutions. It’s fast and simple sufficient to carry the eye of fickle teenagers, permitting it to rack up 20 million customers and 100 million solutions final month.

Right here’s how Polly works. Write a request or rifle by way of randomized ideas like “What’s your spirit animal?” or “What am I best at?”, make up some solutions, seize the mobile net hyperlink, create a Snap selling your ballot, connect the hyperlink, and publish. Your viewers can comply with your cue to swipe as much as open the Polly ballot in Snapchat’s internal net browser, and reply with out having to login.

That final reality is what’s let it develop so rapidly. These 20 million customers don’t essentially have the Polly app the place you make the polls, so they may slip away if associates cease posting questions. But it surely’s nonetheless a mark of success for a staff that’s been experimenting for years in search of a success.

Ranidu Lankage launched digital music discovery app The Drop in 2015 along with his companion Justin Kan, who had began Twitch and offered it to Amazon. However after The Drop and a number of other different music merchandise didn’t fairly blow up, Lankage and Kan based Whale, a video Q&A app.

Whale aligned with the short-form video and candid social media tendencies of the day, and was admitted to the celebrated Y Combinator acceleator. However protecting content material high quality high and simple to browse on Whale proved troublesome, and development wasn’t stellar. At some point on the best way to YC’s Mountain View headquarters, Lankage tells me he and his co-founders James Zhang and Vicc Alexander realized “We loved polls. We’d seen them on Twitter and different apps, and we thought wed’ have the ability to carry them to a new platform.”

They finalized the thought, and pivoted Whale into Polly to finish YC. Each Whale and Polly are about getting folks to share their ideas. Polly simply simplifies that to a multiple-choice query as a substitute of forcing folks to report movies that take time and might make customers really feel self-conscious.

That’s pushed Polly as much as the #13 social app within the US this week, passing sizzling startup Houseparty.

Lankage sympathizes with Snapchat not providing an official developer platform as a result of “APIs are more often than not abused by builders. You’ve seen that with Zynga on Fb” Lankage explains. Builders spam folks’s contacts or submit with no person’s permission.

“However on Polly, you need to do linking manually, so you need to construct one thing folks truly” Lankage says.

The query will likely be whether or not customers and Polly’s staff are inventive sufficient to maintain developing with compelling ballot questions. There’s not a lot to do within the app proper now, so it may get stale, although Polly plans so as to add direct messaging and extra features to maintain teenagers hooked.

Polly will even need to compete with Sarahah and fast-rising nameless app TBH. Polly may get an enormous increase if Instagram decides to permit regular customers to submit hyperlinks of their Tales, as a substitute of simply permitting verified profiles to do this. However till then it’s on the mercy of Snapchat, which may resolve to dam hyperlinks to Polly. Snap and Instagram may at all times construct their very own polling features too.

Piggybacking on one other app is of venture. You get simple development, however threat your distribution immediately disappearing, ruining the person expertise. We’ll see if Polly‘s dependence on different apps is the appropriate reply.

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