Google snaps up pretty polling startup Polar for Google+

Google plans on sharpening up the look and feel of Google+ on mobile with the help of Yahoo's former chief designer.

Google has acquired Polar, a mobile and desktop polling company that aims to increase publishers' and brands' user engagement.

As of yesterday, the young pollster's technology and people are now part of Google, and will be used to boost user engagement on Google +, possibly on Google+ itself or perhaps put at the disposal of brands that use the social network to market themselves.

Announcing the deal, worth an undisclosed sum, Polar's co-founder Luke Wroblewski today said that he and Polar's staff would be joining the Google+ team and bringing its design sensibilities to California. Wroblewski has written several popular books on mobile and web design and was once Yahoo's chief design architect.

According to Wroblewski, Polar served over half a billion polls in the past eight months and had 1.1 million active users voters in September. Individuals could download an iOS app to create their own polls, while publishers could customise and embed polls on their sites or in apps.

"We started with the simple idea that everyone has an opinion worth hearing. But the tools that existed online to meet this need weren’t up to the task: think Web forms, radio buttons, and worse. Ugh. We felt we could do much better by making opinions easy and fun for everyone," Wroblewski said of why he started Polar.

The iOS Polar app has been removed from the App Store, but Polar is keeping its tools for publishers available until the end of the year. Users can also request an archive of their polls and data.

Wroblewski and the Polar team will work on improving the usability of Google+ on mobile devices, David Besbris, head of Google+ told the Wall Street Journal.

According to Crunchbase, Polar has raised just under $3m in funding since 2013, which notably included investment from Yahoo founder Jerry Yang.

Wroblewski was also the co-founder and chief product officer of Bagcheck, a search startup that let users share and comment on lists, which Twitter acquired in 2011.

Read more on Google's recent acquisitions