Here’s a startup hoping to fill the gap left by the demise of Facebook Questions: French-Belgian startup Poutsch, now based in New York and exhibiting here at TechCrunch Disrupt NY’s Startup Alley, has built a platform for tracking opinion data by crowdsourcing market research, which is incentivised through a free-to-use-and-browse social opinion network.
The startup describes itself as a “question & opinion” platform — rather than a Q&A play like Quora. “The difference is we’re not looking for one answer,” says co-founder Felix Winckler. Poutsch’s platform takes the temperature of whatever its users are curious enough to ask about — so everything from ‘what’s your favourite fruit pastille?’ to ‘are you still using Mailbox?’.
Poutsch’s platform lets users ask, answer and view questions, read opinions and look at charts displaying how the data breaks down by variables, such as location, gender and age. They can also follow other users and share their questions to their own network to keep the opinions flowing in. As you’d expect for a site that needs user-generated content to function, Poutsch is free to use, as well as for third-party sites to use its widget to embed polls. The ultimate aim is to monetise the platform by selling opinion data to advertisers, marketers, product manufacturers and so on, says Winckler.
Poutsch launched a public beta back in January. An iOS app is due soon. It says it’s acquired “thousands” of users — both individuals and organisations — to date but won’t be more specific. It’s currently live across 160+ countries.
The big challenge for Poutsch will clearly be acquiring enough users to generate the volumes of data it will need to monetise its platform. The most answered questions on the site mostly have only a few hundred responses apiece, while many trending questions have just tens of responses, so there’s clearly some work to do there. But it’s still in beta — with a “hard launch” due in about a month.