Road trippers


Travel Tech

A recent article from Tnooz presents Spotsetter, a brand new mobile app that aims to map the world using social media, by placing users' social networks on a map interface and enabling users to explore what's around them based on category or location.

The startup's initial goal was to try and answer questions such as 'where are good bars in NYC for Cubs fans?' 'Where can I find the best hamburger in Edinburgh' or, 'What's the best coffee shop in Riga?’ These are all common questions among social media users who have a wide, internationally diverse and globally mobile friend network. Addressing questions like these finally produced Spotsetter, which gathers personal recommendations and content from existing social networks.

Leveraging Friends’ Expertise

You may think this is not a particularly new idea. But Spotsetter is different because it provides the ability for users to tag the expertise of individual social network friends. By scrolling through friends and tagging their relevant expertise, the app gathers a vast array of knowledge of how and where to prioritise users’ favourites, posts and other check-in information curated from social media. The app is able to leverage the vast quantity of 'world movements' catalogued on social media. Users can tag friends as 'experts in the space', and then use a variety of methods - social media, SMS and email - to let them know. This panders to the ego while being great for expanding the app's user base.

Trusted Experts in Specific Categories

Spotsetter also encourages users to 'tag trusted friends'. This adds another layer of verification to the data stream and allows the app to deliver more relevant results, sorted by priority of trust and expertise. Users can also assign friends specific categories including: Coffee Connoisseur, Family Fun, Music Maven, Nightlife Ninja, Outdoorsy, Savvy Shopper, Sushi Sage, and Wine Wizard. Users can also request other categories.

The beauty of this idea is that it tackles one of the key ongoing criticisms of user reviews. Why trust just anyone’s reviews, and why trust the opinions of friends who may not know what they're talking about? By giving users the ability to sort friends according to expertise, Spotsetter aims to add an invaluable layer of additional context to social media reviews.

This extra context produces more useful results for users, which not every similar app is capable of. The map feature is being explored by a whole host of travel startups at present, such as the map from Instagram that encourages users to browse by location, and the beautiful mapping UX from Roadtrippers.

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