Want to find restaurants and bars you’ll like but are tired of getting reviews that the stores likely posted themselves? The problem with traditional crowdsourcing is the service tends to be anonymous, and you will get reviews from people who don’t necessarily share your tastes.
Scoopt has a different crowdsourcing philosophy. It’s an app that is designed to help you connect “with your favorite people’s favorite places”. Instead of comprehensive reviews from strangers, Scoopt gives you quick recommendations from friends you trust…
If you like to see pictures of an establishment before you visit it, you’ll like Scoopt. The app automatically posts pictures of the location from Instagram, which provides a very intimate view of the local business. Because of the ‘food photography’ trend, this Instagram functionality is very useful for restaurants, and we’re surprised other review services haven’t tapped into that resource.
Unfortunately there aren’t any filters or tags besides eat, drink, shot, sleep, visit, and escape. This means if you are vegetarian, celiac, kosher or halal, you won’t be able to filter out recommendations unsuited to your needs. What you can do, however, is curate your 24 close friends carefully for people who share your tastes and concerns.
What’s neat is if you choose a friend whose taste you trust in bars, you’ll also see recommendations from people who they trust for that category, and so on. The idea is you will grow a network of trusted ‘friends of friends’.
The bigger problem with the app is the bugs. I’ve run into a number of glitches and, despite my best attempts, I wasn’t able to deselect Instagram photos on my iPhone. As a result, there are quite a few duck faces attached to my reviews. It doesn’t completely ruin the experience, but if I can’t choose the photos I want then it makes the app harder to use.
If you want to give the app a try, you can find Scoopt on iTunes. Scoopt is both free and ad-free, and is compatible with all devices on iOS 5 and up.
Does Scoopt appeal to you more than mainstream review sites like Urbanspoon and Yelp? Share your thoughts in the comments below.