William Morris Endeavor is launching a new social app created by agency’s head of digital, Dan Porter.
Formerly the CEO of Draw Something developer OMGPOP, Porter recently reunited with the Draw Something team to develop Tally, which launched Thursday with backing from WME.
Tally creates newsfeeds around specific topics, but the catch is that each post can only be categorized using one hashtag, examples include #art or #waitwhat. Each posts starts with a photo or GIF that can be manipulated by drawing (a holdover from the Draw Something app). Once it’s posted, it can be voted up or down by swiping right or left on the screen, creating a crowdsourced feed of the most popular posts in each category. The app also does away with traditional log ins, requiring only a photo and a signature from new users. That creates the opportunity for “flexible identity,” says Porter, meaning people can stay anonymous if they choose.
“The idea was really to connect people with things outside of their standard social network,” he explains. “We got very focused on the hashtag. If you could only choose one hashtag, how could you create various content streams around that hashtag?”
WME sees potential in using Tally to encourage interaction around big events, such as popular TV show finales or live concerts. Porter says the idea is to create conversation around topics in a way that other social networks don’t always facilitate. “We wanted to create a content stream that allows people to talk to each other in real time,” he adds. “Whether you’re at a football game or concert, that was an element we wanted to enable.”
Porter was the CEO of mobile game developer OMGPOP from 2008 to 2012, when the company was acquired by Zynga for a reported $200 million. OMGPOP was shut down the following year and Porter joined WME as head of digital. Porter says reuniting with the Draw Something team on Tally has been a welcome return to his roots.
“It’s extremely fun,” he says. “I’m very much a product-oriented guy, so it’s a really nice balance.”
Learn how to use Tally here: