|Current status||shut down|
Tickle Inc. was a media company providing self-discovery and social networking services. Formerly known as Emode.com, Tickle was founded on the idea that personal insight and connections to others can be scientific, fun and profitable. The site also allowed users to create their own test, which were available for other users to take.
Tickle survived the dot-com bubble burst of 2000, became profitable in early 2002, was acquired by Monster Worldwide in May 2004 and became part of the overall Monster network. In April 2008, it was announced that Tickle.com would be shut down at the end of June 2008, The site was permanently shut down on December 31, 2008.
In January 2009, Monster launched a new quiz website entitled TestQ, which focuses on career-related content and 'PhD quizzes'.
Tickle was founded in 1999 as Emode.com by James Currier and Rick Marini. Tickle focused on quizzes and tests for both entertainment and self-discovery. It was an early example of viral marketing, with tests such as the "What Breed of Dog Are You?" receiving heavy traffic from word-of-mouth and pass-along emails. It had a reputation for using an aggressive and arguably deceptive pop-up campaign. Accordingly, critics charged that Tickle's reputation and practices tarnish the commercial goodwill associated with its clients/advertisers, who appear ordinarily protective of their brands.
Products and services
The company employed more than 50 people and was headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company had tried to rebrand itself as a service that provides tests created by PhDs collaborating with "experts" in their respective fields. Such PhDs and experts included Jennifer Bruning Brown and psychologists from Harvard, Yale, Duke, Northeastern, Washington University in St. Louis, and The University of Kansas.
Tickle's tests were divided into nine main channels. The channels were Entertainment, Style, Careers, Relationship, Mind & Body, Teens, Lifestyle, Family and PhD-Certified. Tickle offered over 200 tests, 50 of which were PhD-certified [clarification needed].
Users could message each other and discuss similar scores they may have gotten. They could also upload pictures and write about their hobbies, likes and dislikes, etc. on their profile.
Users could make custom test that they were able to share with other users. This greatly widened the range of tests on the site, with tests on just about anything.
- Hendrickson, Mark (April 23, 2008). "No One's Laughing at Tickle". TechCrunch.
- Hansell, Saul (March 8, 2004). "Getting to Know Me, Getting to Know All About Me: Web Personality Tests". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010.[dead link]