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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What Is Treepoll?

Treepoll is a micopolling platform that focuses on crowdsourcing answers and polls through 280-character posts. It’s a mixture of Twitter, Facebook and apps like OpinionAid that enable users to ask the community questions such as “Who will win the Superbowl this year?” or “What’s the best iPhone app for free texting?”

There are several ways to ask the Treepoll community questions including the option to create polls by providing three possible answers. It’s similar to the poll feature found on Facebook however with Treepoll, users aren’t limited to asking just friends. Aside from micropolling, users are also able to make statements “status updates” and can set the way the update should be answered; commenting, like/dislike and yes/no.

The user-interface might remind you of a Facebook wall in a few ways. The status updates can include links, pictures or videos and members can engage the posts by using buttons just like “liking” on Facebook. Adding friends enables users to follow what their friends are posting, and it will generate a stream of friend activity as well as a friend news stream. Within the Treepoll directory, a user can additionally search for topics and join the topics as a“tree”, the feature is sort of like following a question on Quora.

Why it could be cool: Treepoll is unique because the micropolls restrict users from posting lengthy rants, and it also gives the user control over how the question is answered; like or dislike, yes or no, comment or pick an answer from my poll. And, for sharing your opinion and answering polls, TreePoll’s plus system will enable you to cash in your points/pluses for real-life discounts on products and services from companies. That’s the plan anyways.

We had a chance to speak with Richardson Dackam the co-founder of TreePoll earlier today, and he tells us he wanted to create an opinion-based social network that people could learn from without associating it with boring surveys. He also hopes to provide a more playful approach to polls.


Creating a game around polling

Treepoll aims to turn polling and opinions into a game through its use of the plus system but Dackam said that there are currently no companies officially on board, and he told us his main concern right now is perfecting the core product before integrating business. As one example of how to earn points, every time a user attracts ten people to their poll, there will be ten bonus points rewarded to the user.
..users will be able to exchange their plus with businesses for rewards or deals. Business will only be able to receive pluses from users so it will create a competition between business to provide the best deals and rewards.

What we don’t like: For starters, it’s hard to hold this against them but, there’s currently not enough of a user-base to make it worth while because your questions, polls and micro-posts don’t get much action. After posting a poll, in one hour, we were only able to obtain two responses to a question however, in their defense the service is still in beta and just went live a few days ago. That being said, Treepoll is still going through growing pains and is facing numerous glitches such as not being able to watch videos while using Mac.

The reward system sounds interesting but its success will heavily depend on whether Treepoll will be able to increase its user-base. The Treepoll community is able to share posts and polls on Facebook which might help it attract more people. All in all, the service would be ideal in form of an iOS/Android app assuming it would let users rapidly post and answer polls and questions. The founder tells us that he has plans to launch a mobile app when the main product is fully functional.

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