Scoople Bits


After five Years, iPhone Continues to Disrupt

In the short span of five years, Apple’s iPhone has fundamentally changed how people communicate with one another, organize their lives, and document the world around them. As a result, the iPhone has disrupted the cell-phone industry and the computer industry alike, as John Gruber wrote on Daring Fireball

We found the disruption does not stop there! The iPhone is now also the primary device for listening to music as 85 percent claim and as for alarm clocks,  57 percent say they no longer use one, other than alarm clock apps on their iPhone.

Such consumer data brings to life questions about the future of our digital lives. More than 75 percent already trust their iPhone as a possible digital wallet, even though Apple has not been very aggressive in pursuing such functionality. 

As the number of apps keeps increasing exponentially, what other areas will the iPhone disrupt, what other special-purpose devices will it make obsolete? Let us know your thoughts! 

Influence future polls and play our news game on Facebook or on your iPhone

Two Sides to the iTunes’ App Approval Process

Recent Scoople polls reveal an even split in the perception of Apple’s approval process, though more than half have downloaded at least one app which did not do at all what it promised in its iTunes description. 

Apple has created a very controlled environment for their app eco-system on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad).  Before any app is allowed to be installed on a user’s iPhone or iPad, it has to go through an approval process run by Apple. 

How well is this system working? We have heard stories on both sides: useful apps being rejected and malicious apps making it on the store.  The dead even split in opinions seems to reflect that: 51% believe the process is too strict and 49% believe it is too loose.  Anybody’s view is likely colored by personal experiences on the App Store. 

Given the above result, not surprisingly, a similar split is revealed as 45% predict that malicious apps will become a significant problem, while 55% do not see any serious threat

A bit more unexpectedly though, more than half claim to have installed at least one app which did not do at all what it was advertised for. It looks like quite a few users are forgiving about this issue. 

Influence future polls and play our news game on Facebook or on your iPhone

May 1

New Scoople release: Ask your friends, community predictions, a store & much more

We’re proud  to announce today’s update to the Scoople iPhone app.  The team has been hard at work making the app more fun by listening to your feedback and adding new stuff as fast as we can.

Speaking of new stuff, here’s the rundown of what’s new with today’s release

-  Now you can ask your a friend to give their opinion on any question you answer and see if they agree with you.

-  Predicting what the rest of the Scoople community will say  is now a central element of the game.

-  We’ve added a store where you can spend your Scoople bucks on virtual items.  We’re just getting started on what to include in the store and can’t wait to add more

-  Everything is faster and prettier.

And we’re just getting started.  Got feedback?  Keep it coming - we read every submission.  Nothing makes us happier than adding new features that come directly from our users.

Give Scoople a try and let us know what you think on FacebookTwitter, or on our Web site

Consumers would have preferred Twitter for Instagram

According to recent results collected in Scoople, a social network app for news,  a majority is concerned that Facebook will gradually destroy the Instagram user experience and would have strongly preferred for Twitter to be the new owner. At the same time, a significant majority acknowledges that the deal is good for Facebook interests, but question the way Mark Zuckerberg went about it.

Facebook announced its acquisition of Instagram for $1B on April 12. Scooplers were asked a number of questions relating to this acquisition over the subsequent days. 

59% are concerned that Facebook will destroy the simple and elegant Instagram user experience as Facebook begins to integrate the photo service with its platform. 73% think that Twitter as the new Instagram owner would be taken better care of the Instagram users. 

On the business side though, 72% acknowledge that the deal is positive for Facebook interests in expanding their social footprint on mobile devices. However, another 72% think that Facebook investors should take pause at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doing the Instagram deal mostly on his own. 

To influence future polls and play our cool news game, download Scoople: 

Apr 6

Nick Bilton vs Jay Yarow: 0:1

Nick Bilton made a bold statement on his Bits Blog in the New York Times on April 2. He claimed the the iPad experience would actually be better without the home button on the front. His arguments were that removal of the home button would enable the iPad to shrink without affecting the screen-size while preferring swipe movements to make up for the missing button.  

That same afternoon Jay Yarow, wrote an answer in the Business Insider, claiming that Bilton is wrong. His main  argument was that the home button enables first time users to enjoy the iPad without any help. In all fairness, Yarow leaned on a previous argument by John Gruber to make his case. 

Scoople users were presented with both articles and thus both arguments Their verdict was pretty clear: 78% sided with Yarow and only 22% sided with Bilton. 

Let’s hope there will be a Round 2 of Bilton vs Yarow - Scoople users would love to chime in again! 

To influence future polls and play our cool news game, download Scoople: 

Apr 1

Mixed Reaction over Mass Effect 3

Scoople users have expressed their disappointment over several of the major issues that have arisen out of the popular finale to the Mass Effect series. But overall, they have been impressed with the game.

Over the past three weeks, Scoople asked users how they felt about a range of topics related to Mass Effect 3, including whether the company falsely advertised the game’s ending and whether the “From Ashes” DLC, which features a Prothean who fought the Reapers in his time, should have been included with the game from the get go.

While 64 percent of Scoople users have said that the final Mass Effect has been everything they wanted in the series finale, 71 percent voted that the initial kinks with the game, mainly revolving around the “From Ashes” DLC and character import problems did not provoke them to give the game a negative rating; 81 percent of users agreed that the DLC should have been incorporated into the game.

The multiplayer gameplay introduced in Mass Effect 3 was well-received by Scoople users — 82 percent agreed it would make the game more fun.

But on the issue of Mass Effect 3’s controversial ending, Scoople users were generally disappointed. When asked whether they were disappointed with the games ending, 54 percent of users agreed. And when asked whether they felt the company, BioWare, had falsely advertised that the last game resolved all stories within the game, 62 percent agreed.

The ending, which some players believe was a severe disappointment, has caused such a stir that BioWare announced it would consider adding a different ending in upcoming DLC. The game broke franchise records in sales and sold 2.4 million copies across all platforms in its opening week, according to VGChartz.

To influence future polls and play our cool news game, download Scoople: 

Can Social Media Change Politics if Users are Holding Back?

According to recent results collected in Scoople, a social network app for news, consumers are very bullish on social media’s abillity to change “Politics as Usual” in the United States while at the same time admit to holding back their own political opinions online. 

Social media appears to be poised to enter the fray of politics, elections, and democratic movements. At a recent event at SXSW, former Vice President Al Gore declared the U.S. democracy “hacked” and called for entrepreneurs to fix it (Link to Scoople news summary). Scoople users seems extremely optimistic for this to take shape - 93% believe social media will play a major role to change US politics: 

A slightly smaller, but still sizable majority - 80% - claims to be comfortable to use social media to convince others to join their votes, which should bode well for startups like Votizen (Link to Scoople news summary): 

However, and interestingly so, a surprising 61% hold back offering up (at least some of) their political opinions on social media (Link to Scoople news summary):

There is clearly a lot of optimism for social media to change politics for the better. There is also some goodwill towards start-ups like Votizen or NationBuilder. But it remains to be seen if politics can really take hold on social media if so many users are reluctant to share their opinion or express themselves. Maybe political discourse will require a social network different from Facebook where like-minded, politically interested users can engage without the fear of alienating friends or co-workers with opposing political opinions. 

To influence future polls and play our cool news game, download Scoople: 

Mar 9

Siri - Even with all the Hype still Underestimated? 

According to recent Scoople results, Siri is already taking away serious search traffic from Google on the iPhone 4s and may soon be influencing how we pick a new car.

As Internet use is shifting away from keyboard-centric devices, the basic method of interacting with the Internet is changing. No longer will the keyboard be the main conduit. 

Apple has recognized this with its acquisition and use of Siri - a sophisticated speech recognition service. Siri is available on Apple’s latest iPhone 4S version and is widely expected to become available in the near future on most other Apple products as well. 

We asked our Scoople users about the use of Siri for Internet search on their iPhone and we found that already 1/3 are using Siri for their search needs instead of Google (click on the info graphic for more information):

Siri’s power extends beyond phones. More than half of our users may chose to buy one car model over another based on Siri integration (click on the info graphic for more information): 

This powerful position enables Siri to pick what service will get the traffic for a particular request. If the user is looking to make a restaurant reservation, will it forward it to OpenTable or UrbanSpoon? If the user is searching for some facts, will WikiPedia or be its recipient? Siri enables Apple to be in control of these decisions.

Google, surprisingly, is playing catch-up, working feverishly to bring the Assistant project to market. Clearly, it has now recognized the powerful position Siri has grabbed with its early lead.

Update (3/12/12): Barrons’s Tech Trader Daily published an article on 3/9/12 about a Barclay’s research report with a similar conclusion as our user data suggests. 

To influence future polls and play our cool news game, download Scoople: 

Batting Averages for Guessing the Majority Sentiment

The readers of our Scoople iPhone app (iTunes) pick a side of a news story by simply tapping “yes” or “no” buttons. They can also test how well they have their fingers on the pulse of the news by predicting the majority sentiment.  Here is an example:

Example of Scoople Question

As we approach 100k picks, we were curious how well our users are batting. You might think it’s easy to predict what most people think about the news. Well, actually only a minority is batting better than 0.700. Do you think you could be among the mere 10% of news junkies who can accurately guess the majority opinion more than 80% of the time, a batting average of over 0.800?  We challenge you to download Scoople and prove it! 

Our data in more detail:

The chart above tallies batting average of our users. As you can see, almost every player is batting at least 0.300.  Batting 0.500 is achieved by more than 80% of the players. Being right half of the time appears to be very doable. There is a decline for those players batting 0.700 - only about 40% achieve it. But then, all of a sudden there is a very steep drop off - only 10%  have the skill to bat 0.800, while batting .900 is a small elite group of 2.5%. In other words, the majority public opinion is less predictable than you might think.

For you statistically minded readers, is this graph surprising, interesting, reminding you of something else? Let us know! We are @dygestnews.

Feb 7

Is Your Smartphone The New Customer Loyalty Card? (SCOOPLE POLL)

If a new mobile-based survey is any indication, smartphones are set to become increasingly instrumental in harnessing customer loyalty.

In a recent poll conducted by social news app Scoople, some 73 percent of the 121 users surveyed said that they believed that Shopkick, a mobile app that gives users loyalty points and better deals whenever they repeat visit a store, would be successful in pushing in-store deals to their phones. In other words, they’d be happy to patronize a particular store if it translated to big rewards.

As smartphones become central to the retail experience, they’re being viewed primarily as tools that empower consumers.  A recent Pew report said that over half of all shoppers with cell phones used their phones for research before a purchase.

In another Scoople poll, 62 percent of the 343 users polled said that they had walked out of a store after finding a better deal on their phones.  

But user attitude toward Shopkick is an indication that that the space for mobile commerce innovation is still wide open.

There’s clearly a multitude of ways that the smartphone can be used – from deal-finder to customer loyalty card to review generator – to create a better experience for both the user and the retailer. The mobile commerce war is just getting started!

About Scoople:

Scoople is a new social platform allowing people to share their opinions on news stories and capturing the overall sentiment on these stories. Download the iPhone app here:  iTunes