Tony Peccatiello looks like a young Colin Farrell, but he’s already a star in the tech space: he launched Pyne, an app that enables people to take online polls and really give their opinions on articles, photos and anything else on the web. Who doesn’t like to sound off online? To get the 411 on Pyne, we met up with Tony…
What exactly is Pyne?
Pyne is a social polling app on iPhone and Android that allows people to ask, answer, and discuss questions in real time with people all over the world. Pyne is also a platform for publishers to embed polls in their websites so that they can engage their audience and drive more reader participation. Combining these two platforms, we’re approaching the polling space in a truly disruptive way.
Where did you get the idea for Pyne?
I found it ridiculous that there was not a space for opinion-based questions. Everyone knows to go to Google for the “How much does this cost?” question, but there was simply not a place where one could go and get a ton of opinions on a given subject in an fun, easy way. With that in mind, we started building Pyne with a company called Happy Fun Corp in December of 2013.
People love to take polls. Everyone has an opinion, as they say…
People love answering questions that reveal information about themselves. While creating Pyne, we kept this notion front and center by making answering questions as fun as possible. Once you answer a question on Pyne, you’re immediately able to see how your opinion stacks up against other people who have answered that question. Furthermore, Pyne has a filter option that allows one to either ask a question to only guys or only girls or filter a question they have just answered by guys or girls. This leads to some really interesting questions and discussions.
Give us an example of a question.
A girl asked on Pyne, “Do you trust guys with different color head hair then their facial hair?” I’m from Brooklyn, so I see a lot of hairstyles, and I really didn’t understand the question. However, when I clicked on the filters I was totally surprised to see girl had almost unanimously answered no, they do not trust these guys. I couldn’t help but laugh and think to myself, this is information that guys need!
How does answering questions about a topic engage the reader?
Most publishers want three actions from their readers. They want them to either “like,” “share,” or “comment,” on their post. All three of these are heavy actions, because each of them requires a person to put their name on a piece of content. Not everyone may want to like, share, or comment; everyone has an opinion, and giving that opinion is very light. Furthermore, once someone gives their opinion and sees where they fall within a body of other people, they are more likely to then participate in a deeper level. This is particularly relevant when it comes to controversial articles where the reader is actually looking for some type of understanding as to what people think about a given subject. Perhaps instantly finding out what others think about something will help it stand out in your mind. And, if you find yourself in the either the minority or majority, you may stop to think about why, consider the points if the article, and that experience will make it more ingrained in your memory.
You launched the Pyne mobile app last June. How does the mobile app differ from using Pyne on a laptop?
They are different in a couple of ways. The Pyne app is designed for consumers, and is meant to be as fun as possible. Anyone can simply download Pyne and start asking and answering questions immediately. Pyne on the computer, or Pyne’s embedded dashboard, is similar but is meant for publishers. Anyone can make a profile on Pyne’s embedded dashboard and make a question that is then posted on their website, blog, or any other web based platform in order to drive visitor participation as well as collect valuable data.
How often do you personally take online polls?
It really depends. I hate taking market surveys where I feel like some company is just trying to pump information out of me. However, when I see a question about an article or something like a BuzzFeed poll, I take them pretty much whenever I see them. I’m kind of a sucker for those “Which city should you live?” type polls.
What does Pyne’s future look like?
It’s very bright! We’re currently fundraising and working on Pyne 2.0, which will have a completely new interface and tons of new features. We’re also working on a super-interesting project involving Facebook. I don’t want to get too far into that here, but definitely stay tuned for some exciting updates soon.