September 27, 2011
Chile is aspiring to become a “global innovation hub” with Start-Up Chile, enticing startups to travel across the world for US$40,000 in equity-free seed capital and one-year work visas. 154 companies were selected on Friday for its latest class, and one of those is Hong Kong startup Flipter, which will be heading to Chile for the 6 month program.
Flipter is a beta Q&A platform that allows you to follow individual users and questions. “It’s like Twitter but for questions and answers,” says Salvador de la Barrera, who hails from Mexico and spent time in the United States and England before settling in Hong Kong.
Users post short questions, or “flips,” and write their own multiple-choice answers. They can also embed images and videos, so respondents can debate which logo is better or whether a video is funny – and then leave comments about the results. Pollsters see answers by gender, age, and location and have the option of compiling questions into a survey.
Though similar to Quora and Aardvark – and useful for soliciting information through simple yes-or-no questions – Flipter and its multiple-choice format are more like Polldaddy (which Tech Cocktail uses). Both allow you to embed polls on websites, though Polldaddy is also available as a WordPress plugin to track your data.
User activity is pretty quiet on Flipter, but expectations are high; besides support from the Chilean government, Flipter received almost US$13,000 in seed money in March from the Cyberport Creative Micro Fund (owned by the Hong Kong government) about a year after Barrera founded the startup.
The most promising feature of Flipter, as I see it, is the ability to track changing opinion. Flipter stats feature a graph with the distribution of votes over time, and individual voters can change their votes if, say, they are persuaded by the chatter in the comments. That means that politicos could see how opinion is shifting in the Obama campaign, or investors could watch how people feel about buying real estate in Hong Kong. Flipter’s backers are surely betting on this: the high value of real-time, demographic opinion data.
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