“Everyone, everyday faces small decision-making moments in every aspect of their life,” says Itai Herman, “people want help and answers to their questions.”
Helping make day-to-day decisions, Herman devised a mobile application called Askem, that allows anyone to upload questions on any subject and instantaneously receive feedback from hundreds or thousands of people in a clear, logical way. “Our mission is to gather the collective opinions of the majority and direct it to your question in an easily understandable manner,” Herman tells NoCamels.
Users are required to upload a photo, of a pair of shoes they are thinking of buying, for example, along with a question. Users then decide whether to ask a standard binary question (do you like these – yes / no) or include up to five unique answers (which of these do you prefer? – the red / the black / neither..) Askem even enables you to drag a line from each answer to a specific detail in the picture to increase precision.
Since its launch, Askem says a total of 250,000 people have signed up to Askem with 300,000 questions posted and six million answers.
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A picture is worth a thousand answers
Herman says women and men rarely provide the same answers: “It’s interesting. You can really see the difference between men and women’s perceptions – they rarely give the same answer.”
While Askem asks users to select a number of topics for questions they would like to answer themselves, like politics, fashion, design or travel, much of the app’s questions revolve around appearance. “Am I pretty?” is one of the frequent questions that pop up on the news feed.
Unfortunately, along with the ability to ask thousands of complete strangers personal questions, often comes brutal honesty.
Utilizing social platforms
According to Askem, questions can be easily embedded on other platforms, such as blogs, social networks, and other websites, so that people can expand the reach of their questions
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As of now, the Askem application is available for iOS devices only, and the the Askem team is working on an Android version. Herman and the Askem team are also looking to make Askem available on instant messaging applications, like Whatsapp, Tango, and Line to connect with friends instantaneously.
Targeting the right audience
“We are always working to improve this application and we’re constantly working on new features we can add,” The Askem team tells NoCamels.
For instance, the app will soon include the ability to direct a question to a specific person or persons to get a more discrete and filtered set of answers.
In addition, the company plans to produce a new feature entitled “ask-around” for individuals who specifically want to request answers from people within half a mile radius. Questions like these could include anything from which restaurants are less crowded to what the parking restrictions are for a certain parking spot.
Leave it up to the crowd
As of now, Askem says it is one of the fastest growing social network applications among teenagers in the United States, with 250,000 users and an average daily time spent on the application of fourteen and a half minutes.
With $750,000 already raised in seed funding, two of the four co-founders will be moving their Askem headquarters to New York.
“The beautiful thing about creating a platform,” Herman tells NoCamels, “is that in the end, I’m only giving people the ability to ask questions- what they do with it is entirely up to them.”
Photo: Qiuqiu Wang