The Rise of Social Polling and imagoo’s Gaming Advantage

July 9, 2013

5:00 pm

Sometimes, I have a difficult time deciding on whether or not to buy a certain piece of technology that I like or want. That I think I like…? In shopping, as well as in other aspects of life, we all need a little help in working through our decisions. I mean, you wouldn’t buy a skirt without asking your friends first if it looks good on you. Much like every challenge our generation has faced, we come up with a solution to take on that challenge; in this case, we’ve fashioned the concept of “social polling.”

Social polling, community polling, real-time polling, or collaborative voting – whatever you want to call it, the industry surrounding the concept is growing, and it’s growing quickly. By the end of 2012, Thumb – one of the largest players providing this service – had over 1.2 million users, and partnered with a Millenials-focused research insights firm in the last month. Earlier this year, Choozum – another competitor – was awarded a federal trademark for the term “Social Decision Making.” Hoping to become the next app, imagoo saw 17,000 downloads in its first month of launch alone.

Of course, this rapid growth in social polling should come as no surprise, seeing as there’s been an increasing trend in mobile communications accessibility and online social networking. According to the World Bank, three-fourths of the world now has access to a mobile phone, and 63.2 percent of Internet users visit social networks at least once a month. But with so much growth and competition, is there room for the one-year-old startup imagoo?

When it comes to real-time social polling, imagoo thinks it offers a challenge to the industry. How? By providing that precisely: offering users the ability to challenge each other. “We want imagoo to become a household name for all challenges and comparisons…it’s the only app [in the industry] that lets you challenge others,” says founder and CEO Mickey Hernandez.

Rather than merely opining on another user’s post, other users can offer a challenge, such as claiming that an iPad would be a better choice over a Surface. From there, users from across the Web and mobile platforms can vote on the best opinion. For Hernandez, he sees an opportunity not solely in the increased role of social networks, but also in the “continuous movement…to mobile app gaming” – imagoo hopes to leverage both trends to compete. Indeed, it’s not doing too badly for itself, having raised $1.2 million last month from an unnamed angel investor.

The idea for social polling is intuitive: it relies on the interconnectivity of human lives and the inherent need for social interactions. Imagoo hopes to gain an edge in the industry by adopting one other inferable fact: girls (and guys) just wanna have fun.

Imagoo will be at this week’s Tech Cocktail Las Vegas Showcase. You can sign up for imagoo through their Web platform or through their app.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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