Poptip polls take instant pulse of the tweeting masses


Marketers and the media already get instant feedback from the people they communicate with on Twitter and Facebook (s FB), but Poptip, a startup graduating from TechStars NYC this week, wants to help them do it at scale.

At the startup incubator’s demo day Thursday, Poptip will launch its free product to the public and follow with subscription-based premium versions in the coming weeks.

Kelsey Falter, Poptip’s founder and CEO, said the idea for the company came from her personal passion for feedback and her belief that it fuels creativity and innovation. Companies like GoPollGo, Twtpoll and Poll Everywhere already let people surface polls in social media, but Falter said Poptip is the only one to keep the entire experience in the social environment.

“Feedback should be instant,” she said. “At the moment they’re asking for your input, you should be able to reply there, within the interface that you already frequent.”

And considering that on Twitter alone, 140 million active users generate about 400 million tweets a day, social media is certainly fertile ground for real-time market research and public opinion polling.

With Poptip, users sign in with Twitter credentials to access a dashboard that allows them to type their question and reply options in a tweet. For example, a news outlet could ask: “Who do you want to win the NBA finals? #heat #thunder cc/#poptip” As Twitter users tweet their replies (with or without the hashtags or appropriate spellings), Poptip records the responses and creates a dedicated page for results (which users can also share). Falter says the company has access to a private, yet-to-be-released portion of Twitter’s API that enables them to tally Twitter replies in real time.

During key cultural events, such as elections, the Super Bowl and award shows, Poptip polls could give marketers, the media and other organizations interesting, instant ways to assess the online zeitgeist and gather feedback. A few scenarios Falter sketched out: a news show could crowdsource guest suggestions for an upcoming segment, a band could invite fans at a live concert to vote on the finale or a political candidate could solicit feedback to inform future speeches and campaign messaging. Social media monitoring companies already “listen” to crowd online (and some argue that social media is actually making polling obsolete), but polling companies like Poptip offer the added benefit of helping companies and organizations further engage with the people they want to reach.

Poptip said it’s tested the product with a number of Fortune 200 companies and has firm plans to work with CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, the MLB Fan Cave, ESPN and Pepsico’s Frito-Lay.

Although it’s launching on Twitter, Falter said it will roll out a Facebook product by the end of the month, as well as embeddable widgets for web publishers, and follow with Pinterest and email-based polls.

Kelsey Falter, Poptip founder and CEO

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