Thumb, the mobile Q&A app formerly known as Opinionaided, caught my eye a little over a year ago because of its ability to generate a lot of addictive engagement on mobile by getting people to give a thumb up or down to questions. That little mechanic has proven incredibly popular helping the app, on iOS (s aapl) and Android (s goog), to hit a run rate of 1 billion responses a year with a quarter of the people leaving a comment.
Now Thumb is evolving with its biggest update to date, allowing its users to become more expressive and social and making Thumb more of a full-fledged social netwok for opinions. Here’s a look at some of the improvements in Thumb 3.0:
- Users don’t have to just pose a question, but they can now express a sentiment and get feedback on it. This can be great for big events or just to allow people to get different conversations started.
- Users can build out their profiles by saving opinions to their profile. They can curate their own opinions or save other people’s items to their profile and they can give a thumbs up or down to each item.
- The service now has a full-blown messaging system, that allows direct messaging back and forth between users. There were some ways for people to converse before but they were built around actual questions.
- There’s now a leaderboard that lets people compete to see who can earn the most stars.
Thumb, which has raised $5.3 million to date, isn’t sharing user numbers though CEO and founder Dan Kurani said users are spending three hours and 50 minutes a month on average on the service. The average post can get anywhere from 50 to 100 responses back, with the feedback rolling in within seconds.
That kind of feedback can be exciting and addictive. And it shows how Q&A on mobile can be really engaging and can increasingly be used as a way for people to express themselves like Pinterest. It also demonstrates that interest-based social networks, especially one built for mobile, can compete in a Facebook world by giving people ways to connect and express themselves around specific topics.