June 29, 2016 Last Updated 4:05 pm

Talking Points Memo updates PollTracker app for 2016 election

The last Presidential election cycle occurred in the midst of the rush to create mobile apps, but this cycle finds media companies hesitant to continue to invest in new apps

In 2012, with both the iPhone and iPad selling briskly, there was still a lot of enthusiasm displayed by the major media companies for mobile apps.

The New York Times, for instance, released an app for the 2012 election which would become a home for much of the copy produced by Nate Silver during that cycle. The Washington Post soon followed. But soon both the apps and Nate Silver were gone and today the NYT is not an enthusiastic developer of mobile apps, remaining committed to getting as many readers as possible to pay for its website, the way it tried for years to get readers to pay for print.

Apps, of course, haven’t gone away, just the enthusiasm of publishers to develop them. Publishers found that getting reader to download an app was far easier than getting them to continue to use it, and monetizing apps proved nearly impossible.

But now, in the next election cycle, one expects that as things heat up a few media outlets might just decide to dip their toes into the app waters once again.


One website that is back at it is Talking Points Memo. They have released a new version of their PollTracker mobile app. Actually, it is not so much a new app, as it was originally released in July of 2012, so much as an updating of the old app.

“We just announced this morning on Morning Joe that today we’re introducing the 2016 version of PollTracker mobile. This year it’s available on both iOS and Android. And of course it’s free,” wrote publisher Josh Marshall today.

“There are other poll aggregators out there. But PollTracker is the only one with a mobile app that sends you live notifications every time a new poll is released in a contest you’re following. Maybe you shouldn’t be so addicted to politics and polls that you can’t wait to find out in the evening or when you’re back from lunch or tomorrow morning which new polls came out. But if you’re a politics junkie it’s not soon enough. You need to know now.”

But you won’t find many media companies still committed to their election apps. PoltiFact, for instance, last update its mobile app in September of 2012. The Washington Post’s Poll Watch app was last update in 2013.

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