State App Wants to Be a Public Opinion Poll for Everything
Are you overflowing with snap judgments and want somewhere to share them? There’s a new app called State that would love for you to come express yourself in its “global opinion network.”
State — which comes in Web and iPhone varieties — is preloaded with 25 million topics. What do you think about Ukraine? What do you think about sushi? What do you think about bitcoin? What do you think about Diet Coke?
You can choose from 10,000 structured expressions, which State has sorted by sentiment. Do you think something is troubled? Healthy? Revolutionary? Risky? State inserts your contribution into a sentiment distribution graph of all its members’ opinions on any one topic. Then you can explore further topics, or find people who have expressed opinions similar to yours.
“Stating opinions, like in real life, becomes a conduit for discovery of stuff,” co-founder Alex Asseily told Re/code. “The world isn’t as thumbs-up/thumbs-down as we may have imagined. They are adding texture to their opinions.”
To be honest, I’m on the skeptical end of the opinion graph for State. People have plenty of places to express themselves online. Beyond biggies like Twitter and Reddit, there are lots of other “interest graph” startups that are trying to be destinations for conversation. And while Asseily said he hopes State could eventually become a research-on-demand service, open opt-in polls on every topic under the sun are hardly scientific.
But then again, my opinion is not the only one that matters. And Asseily has a lot of resources to try to make this work. He raised $14 million from backers including Atomico and has a staff of 30, mostly in London. He also has a pretty good startup track record, having previously been the founding CEO of the speaker/headset/activity-band company Jawbone.