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Ulster social search engine 'new Twitter'

A Tyrone-born entrepreneur believes his "addictive" social media start-up will be the next internet phenomenon.

MillionOpinion.com is the brainchild of Matthew McCausland, who describes it as the first "social search engine".

Users of the site can post opinions on a variety of topics and see how many people agree or disagree with them, with views and topics available in a searchable archive.

Launched four weeks ago, the site now has 300 users signed up and has logged 400,000 hits.

Comparisons to instant messaging site Twitter have already been made, and Mr McCausland admits the website's design deliberately aligns it with existing social networking sites.

"I asked my web designers to make it look a bit like other sites, because a degree of familiarity might encourage users to try something new," he said.

This, he insists, is where the similarities with Twitter begin and end. "Twitter is mainly for announcing news, whereas MillionOpinion is for gathering opinions from a random selection of people, providing unbiased, instant feedback," he added.

A ranking system in development will see users gain or lose points according to how many people agree or disagree with their views.

Matthew is currently in talks with Translink, Tesco and Marks and Spencer centring on the site's potential for company profile and direct market research.