Yabbly: Quora with Karma

yabbly, consumer review, application, app, SXSW, SXSW Accelerator, Startup, business, marketing

We all deal with uncertainty when making everyday purchase decisions. From what earphones to buy to what type of chair you should pick up for your office. Sure, salespeople and product benefits tell you a lot about a product, but overselling and exaggerating every little feature of the item can sometimes cloud our judgement, which may result in a disappointed purchase. It seems their is a gap between what the product says it offers, to what you experience or can do with the product. That void is what I like to call the true “reality of a product”. But how and where do we go to find accurate information about a product or service before we actually go through with the purchase. Well, three gentlemen from Seattle saw this discrepancy and created a place where consumers can interact with others, ask questions, and provide insightful information about a product or service.

Welcome to Yabbly

Yabbly was created out of need to streamline consumer questions, specifically relating to purchase decisions. The idea for the application was initially spurred in 2012 by three Seattle-based engineers: Tom Leung, Steven Neuman and Ian Shafer. They saw a flaw in the current consumer purchase process, from inaccurate product information and benefits to the inefficiencies of asking users about products on current social media sites. Thus, Yabbly was born.

At its foundation, Yabbly is a social media app that specializes in purchasing decisions, stating they are “Quora meets consumer reports”. It pairs users together to create the ultimate shopping research engine, providing crowdsourcing to answer any question a consumer might have about a product or service.


The issue with apps these days is the intangible benefits that a user needs or gains from using the application. Finding that point is key to the success of any startup, asking what users want and how they want to be recognized. Yabbly did this by incorporating “Karma” points into their system. When you answer someones question, you get karma points, and vice versa. This point system gives the app that fulfilling feeling of helping someone else out. It also increases usage, as it holds parts of the community accountable in regards to a users posed question.

Looking to the future

The trio have been making some impressive moves in 2012, from a couple rounds of seed funding to making some noise at this years SXSW Accelerator. From an online standpoint, the model isn’t new. There are hundreds of product review sites, but Yabbly delivers it in a very unique way. The idea of pairing consumer information with social features, while adding in a bit of “karma” to engage users on a regular basis is what will propel their success. This will allow the Seattle startup to gain some traction in the app and consumer review market. As of right now, you still have to request an invite to join the community, but they are accepting new people everyday.

Do you see this app gaining traction in the consumer review market? Or is the market too saturated?

Look forward to hearing from you.



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