Apple Acquires Social Map App Spotsetter


Apple has recently acquired Spotsetter, a map app that works as a social search engine for places, according to TechCrunch.

Spotsetter combines friends’ recommendations, information from social media and online reviews with a map feature.

It pulls data from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, as well as reviews from trusted websites such as TripAdviser, Yelp and The New York Times.

The app was founded by former Google Maps engineers Stephen Tse and Johnny Lee.

And TechCrunch reports that Apple have quietly bought the app, seemingly to add such social features to their own maps.

The LinkedIn profiles of the two Spotsetter founders say they are now working for Apple.



Spotsetter allows users to search for new places, categories or keywords as with other map apps, but it also provides personalised results based on a user’s preferences.

Lee wrote on the company’s blog: “Our users won’t have to explicitly search; they get a great recommendation at the appropriate time with the right amount of content.

“Then they continue to enjoy the physical world without a thought about technology.”

The app also includes friends’ reviews and points out which friends could be “experts” in a certain area like sushi or coffee.

The Spotsetter founders also plan to integrate the app with wearables like Google Glass or iWatch in the future.

In their final blog post, Johnny said: 

“With fondest emotions, I’m announcing that we are closing down Spotsetter app. We still have big dreams for personalized search for places and look forward to seeing great progress in this area.”

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