Mobile app Thumb, which has been asking users to provide their opinions since its original private beta launch in June 2010 as Opinionaded, today revealed to TechCrunch that it now has more than 1.2 million registered users. It marks the first time the company has talked in detail about its specific user population size.
Thumb has been vocal about engagement stats in the past, however, telling TechCrunch in December of last year that users receive on average 50 to 100 responses to questions they post on the site, which can be about anything, and which other users can comment on or thumb up and thumb down. This generates a cumulative impression of sentiment on submitted items.
Thumb debuted a version 3.0 release in June to refocus its efforts on social engagement and communication, and that’s been a huge driver of the new growth, according to Thumb CEO Dan Kurani. He told me that the 3.0 release is really when Thumb’s trajectory started to hockey stick, helping the startup pile on users at a rate of 12 percent per month, double the 6 percent rate at which it was accumulating new users before that. Kurani says that can be attributed to a strategy of listening to users and going in the direction they’re naturally taking the network, and there’s more of that planned for the future.
“Over the next six to twelve months, the product’s going to get more simple,” he said. “We tend to really gravitate towards what users are really using, what’s driving engagement, so we’re going to make changes in that direction.”
The next major evolution for Thumb is, however, a transformation from a general polling tool to one that’s capable of more sophisticated targeting. So, for instance, Thumb could analyze a user’s interaction and contextual info and then serve up a customized stream of things to share opinions based on their personal details and interest graphs. Kurani admitted that Thumb could then end up looking a lot more like a local Q&A-style service in line with what Localmind is doing, but that he thinks the approach of starting broad and getting more specific later will help Thumb ensure that people always get the right answers, when and from where they need them.
That’s going to help Thumb with revenue, too, since the obvious play here is to better capture and leverage buyer intent. And while Thumb discussed the size of its user base with me, the focus is still pretty obviously on driving lots of engagement. Kurani said that users spend an average of five hours per month in the app, and that they provide more than 1 billion responses per year to 20 million total questions posed.