Loop, the newest entrant in the social polling space, is launching in the App Store today to help people solve life’s little dilemmas, such as which movie to see or how much to tip the pizza-delivery guy. Although the app is currently intended for consumer use, it will be making its way into the B2B space in a matter of weeks.
Built by Seattle-based startup NQuiry, Loop allows users to send polls to their friends through Facebook, Twitter, email and text. As on Twitter, pollsters opt-in to follow each other, and those surveys show up in the app’s feed. Behind each are infographics that show the breakdown of respondents along gender, age and geography lines.
“People don’t like answering surveys. I knew that. I used to write surveys at Microsoft and I did consumer research,” NQuiry co-founder and CEO Erin Burchfield said. “[But] people are fascinated by polls in general. There’s an innate fascination by what other people think. There’s more interest in seeing others’ responses than in casting your own vote.”
After releasing a beta version in April, Loop closed a $450,000 seed round from three angel investors in mid-July. They’re calling it a seed round, rather than an angel round, Burchfield said, because the $1 million they’re shooting to raise in the fall will be their Series A.
Social polling has seen a flurry of activity in the last few years, with each app tackling polling slightly differently. Seesaw uses photos as its selections, whereas Thumb, which recently merged with research insights firm YPulse, offers a binary yes or no answer.
Loop, on the other hand, is aiming for maximum flexibility by offering yes/no and multiple choice polls with text and photo answers. The app also equips its polls with Amazon site search and Pinterest pinboard integration, which is particularly relevant to shopping and recipe queries.
As with other social polling apps like GoPollGo, the money-making will happen on data analytics and promoted polls for businesses, which will show up in a user’s feed like a promoted tweet. Burchfield said that Loop has four companies lined up to test-drive promoted polls for free, the names of which they will announce in two to three weeks. There is also potential to charge users freemiums for account upgrades, like anonymous posting.
In the coming months, Loop will be building out its backend to serve companies looking for market data. Large companies with their own analytics teams can simply import flat files, whereas smaller companies can opt for a dashboard on which Loop builds reports and slices data for them.
If Loop is able to pull in enough users with its flexibility of polling options, it will be in a good place to market itself to businesses. There’s nothing better than a pool of consumers, mapped by age, gender, and location, sharing their opinions enthusiastically and for free.
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