Sporcle Makes a Successful Paid iPhone App Out of User-Generated Quizzes

Sporcle Inc. has turned its user-created quiz web site into a successful iPhone app of the same name, Sporcle. And it’s pretty fun, and even sort of educational, too. Here’s a closer look.

Launched back in 2007, the Sporcle website created a means for users to play and create any number of quizzes over any number of categories. However, since then the site has expanded into the mobile department for the iPhone. In fact, according to the developer, it is proclaimed to be the top trivia app in the App Store, and for $0.99 is within the top 125 paid apps overall (and considering there are thousands of them, that’s not too bad at all).

After playing through the iPhone rendition, it’s no wonder why it has done so well. As soon as players log on, they are greeted with at least two-dozen recently added trivia quizzes. Of course, that’s just the past week or so. When they dive into the specific categories section, there’s probably close to around 300 different quizzes to choose from. The best part though, is that these run the gamut of subjects ranging from vice presidents to video game slogans; and just about everything else in between.

The play is easy enough. For each quiz, there are any number of clues and a time limit that is set by the creator. All players need do is use their iPhone’s keypad and type what they think the answer is to these clues. As an example, for one quiz about video game’s, the player needs to identify the game by its subtitle. One such clue was “Modern Warfare,” thus the answer was “Call of Duty.” Once you type the word, and it is spelled correctly, it will appear in the answer box. You can’t actually input wrong answers, so anything that is considered “wrong” is merely a blank box. It’s either spell it right or leave it blank.

It is worth noting, however, that you don’t have to select anything to input your answers. You just type. That means that if you just randomly throw out names or answers you think could be somewhere in the quiz, the game will automatically place it in the correct box.

Upon completion, you will earn a score, and your answers are actually compared to everyone else who took the quiz. What is fantastic, however, is this is more than just a mere “how many did everyone else get” sort of comparison. Sporcle actually shows you the percentage of players that got each answer (adding greater satisfaction when you get one most got wrong), your total score comparison and the percent of players that got within that range, as well as your personal stats such as your top five missed answers.

In addition to all of this, players can also post their results to Facebook, and should they create and login through a Sporcle account, can also comment on and rate other players’ quizzes. Moreover, if they have GPS is enabled, users can also view what quizzes may have been played in their general area.

Of course, one of the premiere aspects of this iPhone application’s social outlet is the user generated content. We’ve noted, in the past, with game such as Quiztastic, that this is a very dangerous realm as many players will just as soon make vulgar, poor, or offensive content as they others would compelling content. Nonetheless, after a few plays, we actually have not yet discovered anything of the sort. Considering when you create a Sporcle account and they say that untasteful names will not be tolerated, it can only be assumed that such quizzes will not be either. That said, it would be naïve to say they aren’t out there, as the company has noted that Sporcle.com has had over 90,000 quizzes created to date, but thus far, the policing appears to be going well.

Truthfully, the only real complaints to be had with Sporcle itself, is it is a little disappointing to not be able to create quizzes on-the-go through the iPhone version. One has to go to the website itself. All the same, after looking at the quiz creator, it is a little bit cumbersome, and may not be all that suited for a small screen anyway. Nevertheless, if it could be adapted, it would be a nice addition. Beyond this, any other qualms fall under the aspect of “it’s user-generated content.” Some quizzes are very hard, some obscure, and some extremely easy. Regardless, with hundreds to choose from and umpteen different categories, this issue is minor at best.

Overall, Sporcle is a fantastic quiz game to have for your iPhone, and truly lives up to its tag line of being a mentally stimulating diversion. The quizzes are simple and far from frustrating (so long as you can spell), and even though it is all user-generated content, we have yet to come across anything that would be deemed overtly offensive. Frankly, for a dollar, this is an app worth investing in, and if you’d prefer to buy a Snickers instead, there’s a free version as well.

Publish date: May 26, 2010 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/sporcle-makes-a-successful-paid-iphone-app-out-of-user-generated-quizzes/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT