Yahoo Acquires Mobile Social Polling Tool GoPollGo; Shuts Down Services

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Yahoo Acquires Tech And Talent Of Frequent Flyer Flight Search Startup MileWise, And Shuts It Down

GoPollGo, a real-time polling tool that lets brands and media properties collect and analyse feedback, has announced that it has been acquired by Yahoo. The news comes just one week after the search giant announced the acquisition of mobile personal organization app Astrid, as part of its ongoing acquisition spree. It comes at the same time that Yahoo has confirmed the acquisition of travel site Milewise. For now, GoPollGo says that it will be shutting down its services on its site, as well as its embeddable widgets and mobile app.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. While Milewise is joining Yahoo’s operations in New York, GoPollGo will be at its Sunnyvale HQ.

“Today Milewise and GoPollGo joined the Yahoo! mobile team. GoPollGo created a cool social polling app and the team has joined our mobile org in Sunnyvale,” Yahoo told us in an emailed statement on the two deals. “Milewise created a great app to make travel planning easier and personalized. They have joined our New York mobile team.”

GoPollGo, which was launched in 2011 and has received some $425K in funding from IdeaLab and CrunchFund (the VC run by TC’s founder Michael Arrington), has run millions of polls in its time. In January this year, after launching an iOS app, the company released a beta of a premium service it called Promoted Polls. Like Twitter’s Promoted Tweets, this let pollsters pay a little extra to insert their questions into a stream of other, non-paid polling questions.

For now, it’s not clear how GoPollGo’s technology is going to be used in the startup’s new home. The three founders, Ben Schaechter (a former developer at TechCrunch), Sam Grossberg and Paul Kompfner, are relatively vague about this point in their note on the site: “We’re so excited to bring the knowledge and experience we’ve gained at GoPollGo to Yahoo!” they note. “We share an enthusiasm for building delightful user experiences, and we couldn’t be happier to join forces.”

But you can see where this might fit into Yahoo’s wider business strategy if it does get used. For one, the company is trying to increase ways to keep users interested in its content and more engaged, the current buzzword for the digital ad industry. GoPollGo has done things like power polls that ran on ABC.com’s site alongside the presidential debate. The idea is that these polls, instead of seeing users jump to other sites to watch coverage and how people interact, or turning off altogether, they stay tuned in there with the poll being one way to keep their interest up.

On the other hand, it’s interesting that GoPollGo had already introduced a paid service with Promoted Polls. With companies like Google and Facebook largely dominating online advertising right now in areas like search and display, smaller players like Yahoo (similar to Aol, TechCrunch’s owner) needs to get more innovative and creative with how they target would-be advertisers with services that they will pay for. Adding polls as, effectively, another marketing/advertising unit would be one way to do that.

Interestingly, the whole area of polling has been one that others have eyed, but have been less than successful in tackling. Facebook launched, and then pulled, a Polls product between 2007 and 2009. Then a follow-up/adjacent product, Questions, was similarly launched in 2010 but then shut down in October 2012, effectively giving in to competition from the likes of Quora. Most recently, Facebook’s foray into canvassing opinion, the ability to create threaded comments and replies on Pages, can effectively be used as a template for Q&As (bringing to mind Reddit’s AMA events), and, yes, polls.

More to come. Note on GoPollGo’s site is below.

GoPollGo Team is Joining Yahoo! Mobile
We are excited to share some big news: We’re joining Yahoo! For two years, we’ve worked incredibly hard to make it as easy as possible to get feedback from friends and followers. It has been so rewarding to build a product that scaled up to millions of people and supported large media properties and diverse brands — all while staying true to promise to deliver fun, engaging, real-time experiences.

We’re so excited to bring the knowledge and experience we’ve gained at GoPollGo to Yahoo!. We share an enthusiasm for building delightful user experiences, and we couldn’t be happier to join forces.

Huge thanks to all our users, partners and customers who helped us realize our vision. As of today, we’ll no longer be supporting GoPollGo’s properties on the site, embeddable widgets or mobile app. If you have any questions or want to get in touch, shoot us an email to hi@gopollgo.com.