Polly’s teen polling app piggybacks on Snapchat


Snapchat doesn’t technically have a developer platform, however that hasn’t stopped different startups from profiting from its new function for attaching hyperlinks on your Snaps and Tales. Sarahah used to be the primary, permitting other folks to invite fellow Snappers for open-ended nameless comments. However the issue is that the ones requests might be met with cyberbullying.

Polly is a brand new teen sensation that’s in a similar fashion unfold thru Snapchat. However the light-weight polling apps for iOS and Android give protection to customers by way of letting them create a number of desire 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 ultimate month.

Right here’s how Polly works. Write a request or rifle thru randomized ideas like “What’s your spirit animal?” or “What am I best at?”, make up some solutions, seize the cellular internet hyperlink, create a Snap selling your ballot, connect the hyperlink, and post. Your target audience can observe your cue to swipe as much as open the Polly ballot in Snapchat’s inside internet browser, and resolution with no need to login.

That ultimate reality is what’s let it develop so temporarily. The ones 20 million customers don’t essentially have the Polly app the place you’re making the polls, so they may slip away if buddies prevent posting questions. However it’s nonetheless a mark of good fortune for a workforce that’s been experimenting for years on the lookout for a success.

Polly co-founder and CEO Ranidu Lankage

Ranidu Lankage introduced digital track discovery app The Drop in 2015 together with his spouse Justin Kan, who had began Twitch and bought it to Amazon. However after The Drop and a number of other different track merchandise didn’t relatively blow up, Lankage and Kan based Whale, a video Q&A app.

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Whale aligned with the short-form video and candid social media developments of the day, and used to be admitted to the distinguished Y Combinator acceleator. However retaining content material high quality top and simple to browse on Whale proved tough, and expansion wasn’t stellar. In the future on tips on how to YC’s Mountain View headquarters, Lankage tells me he and his co-founders James Zhang and Vicc Alexander discovered “We enjoyed polls. We’d seen them on Twitter and other apps, and we thought wed’ be able to bring them to a new platform.”

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

That’s driven Polly as much as the #13 social app in the USA this week, passing scorching startup Houseparty.

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Lankage sympathizes with Snapchat no longer providing an reputable developer platform as a result of “APIs are most of the time abused by developers. You’ve seen that with Zynga on Facebook” Lankage explains. Builders junk mail other folks’s contacts or submit with out a consumer’s permission.

“But on Polly, you have to do linking manually, so you have to build something people actually” Lankage says.

The query can be whether or not customers and Polly’s workforce are ingenious sufficient to stay arising with compelling ballot questions. There’s no longer a lot to do within the app at the moment, so it would get stale, although Polly plans so as to add direct messaging and extra options to stay teenagers hooked.

Polly may also must compete with Sarahah and fast-rising nameless app TBH. Polly may get a large spice up if Instagram comes to a decision to permit customary 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 might make a decision to dam hyperlinks to Polly. Snap and Instagram may all the time construct their very own polling options too.

Piggybacking on every other app is a bet. You get simple expansion, however chance your distribution all of sudden disappearing, ruining the consumer revel in. We’ll see if Polly‘s dependence on different apps is the appropriate resolution.