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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.

Go deeper

The biggest headline from Biden's town hall

President Biden greets attendees during a commercial break in Baltimore last night. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

What matters from President Biden's town hall with CNN's Anderson Cooper at Baltimore Center Stage on Thursday, via Axios night owl Hans Nichols:

The biggest headline: Biden is jettisoning the corporate tax increases that White House officials have insisted, for the past 10 months, are wildly popular across the country. He admitted he doesn't have the votes.

Trump, your 2024 GOP nominee

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Former President Trump is telling most anyone who'll listen he will run again in 2024 — and poll after poll shows the vast majority of Republicans would gladly cheer him on and vote for him. 

Why it matters: Trump is the heart, soul and undisputed leader of the Republican Party and will easily win the nomination if he wants it, the polls make unmistakably clear.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

How smartphone cameras became the best cameras

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

For years, the smartphone has been the most convenient camera, and in recent years it has also become the easiest and most versatile camera. But this year's high-end smartphones have taken things to a new level — capturing images that would be either tough or impossible even with a high-end digital camera.

Between the lines: Traditional cameras have the advantage of bigger sensors and better lenses, but smartphone cameras are rivaling and even surpassing them by tapping computational power.