Israeli start-up company Opinion Stage develops polls and voting systems based on social network profiles. The uniqueness of using real profiles of users for voting is what makes this service different, exposing and distributing a social network based on a democratic process.
It all started in the social protest of Summer 2011
“The ideological core of Opinion Stage came following the social protests across the globe back in 2011.” recalls CEO Assaf Parag. “It was clear that people have a very great need to speak their minds, express themselves and influence their surroundings, and that the network has tremendous potential as a social distribution channel to facilitate this need. But ultimately, the views expressed in the various disordered social networks makes it difficult to produce interesting insights.”
Parag previously managed the product development of two startups (Gteko and Kidaro), and along with CTO Gil Yoffe built a site that allows users to discuss various issues and answer surveys, with content directed towards their own interests. They quickly realized it was better to change the focus and provide surveys for existing content. Parag explains: “The idea was to build a layer of applicative tools for expressing opinions built on top of existing social network infrastructures. The application allows you to organize your opinions and insights.”
Parag adds that websites are constantly seeking ways to keep visitors on their sites for more time and ways to bring new audiences and generate revenue. We offer them a polling tool based on social networks that allows them to improve all three of these indicators.” Indeed, the first major project of the company dealt with the Israeli elections of 2013. A survey conducted for one of the newspapers in the country had more than 30 thousand people participate with their Facebook profiles. The people who chose to participate could see how their friends voted and see the breakdown of votes by gender, geographical areas and social networks.
There are competitors and investors
Currently the company services more than 15 thousand websites and brands, and within a year they hope to reach a million registered users. Already, their surveys get tens of millions of exposures on various sites around the world. This success did not go unnoticed by private investors who already have invested and gave the company enough funding for another year and a half of activity. The company, however, plans to accelerate its progress and wants to work toward acquiring more funding.
Services offered by the company are also offered by quite a few competitors in the market. Competitors include market survey providers such as SurveyMonkey, Polldaddy, LimeSurvey as well as several mobile applications and social networks that are based on polls like voice. What distinguishes the company, in the opinion of its founders, is that they appeal to the large market segment of users who are already visiting publisher sites; and to increase the involvement of the audience, the system adjusts the polls to users by using Big Data and various social technologies.
We asked the founders’ “Where is the money?” And they explained that the company’s business model is based on two revenue streams: The first is the monthly charges, which websites and brands pay for premium services that include more features (this channel has already been active for several months, and generates some nice revenue); and second, a channel based on advertisements, for websites that enjoy free services, and place advertising within surveys.