Sep 25, 2017

Polly is the latest app to tap Snapchat for growth

Developers are building their own products for Snapchat, like polling app Polly. Photo: barnimages.com

Snapchat doesn't have a "platform" for helping outside developers build products using the ephemeral messaging app, but that isn't stopping them. One of the latest examples of apps building their following through Snapchat is Polly, a young app for creating and answering fun polls. Anonymous feedback app Sarahah is another example.

Our thought bubble: It's obvious that Polly is capitalizing on current popular trends, namely Snapchat and polling apps. Less clear is whether it has staying power. Many social apps burst onto the scene and fade away just as quickly. Another key question is where Snapchat will go. It could take formal steps to work with outside developers who want to plug into its social network as social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have. So far, however, the company has declined to even build tools for brands and celebrities, so we're not holding our breath.

  • How Polly did it: Thanks to Snapchat's new feature that lets users attach links to their "snaps" (photos and videos they share), Polly has been able to spread quickly. At first, Polly was just a website where users created and answered polls, though it recently rolled out a mobile app, which also means it'll be less dependent on Snapchat. Last month, it had 20 million users and 100 million poll answers, according to co-founder Ranidu Lankage.
  • Social media experts: Lankage and his co-founders James Zhang and Vicc Alexander are no strangers to social apps, which is why they were able to create one that seems — for now — to be catching on with young users. When they joined Y Combinator's accelerator program a few months ago, they were still working on the one-year-old video app Whale. However, they noticed that it wasn't growing as fast as it should (Lankage attributes it to most people's aversion to making videos of themselves), they looked for another idea, landing on Polly.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 5,463,392 — Total deaths: 344,503 — Total recoveries — 2,195,325Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,653,904 — Total deaths: 97,948 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori fly over Milan in Duomo Square on May 25. Photo: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.