A new app for getting recommendations for places to go in your local area has recently launched in Portland. Recs is a social discovery app for finding the best hang-out, eateries and things to do in your local area. It’s currently only available on the app store, but is looking to expand soon.
Recs is a place where you can mark your favourite places in your local area, and see your friends recommendations. The app takes a couple of key approaches in how it does this to make the app user-friendly, simple and useful. For one, there’s no negativity. You can only mark places that you recommend. The more recommendations a place gets, the more it is promoted to other users. Places that are not as good, will have less recommendations, not negative reviews. Secondly, recommendations are a simple yes – there is no in-depth reviewing system that can be manipulated negatively. Again – the system is simple and should help the best rise to the top without manipulation.
The idea is that one recommendation from a trusted friend, or friend of a friend, should be more valuable to users than 5,000 yep reviews. The app is the brainchild of Jesse Berns and Sean Conrad, and not their first venture into the creation of social discovery apps. Their first app however, Go Disco, was based around events. Recs is the next evolution of that, and instead of being about events, which are fleeting and gone, the app is about places – making it a more long-term useful app. The goal of both apps is to get people off their phones and meet again in real life. Jesse Berns told TechCrunch:
“The fact that events are ephemeral meant that it was really hard to build a product that got people offline consistently . . . whereas places are really intimate and special – and you go to them all the time. There’s no negativity; you either recommend somewhere or you don’t – there’s no one to five stars, there’s no ‘this place sucks,’ there’s no trolling. There’s no anonymity: If you go on Recs and you want to be anonymous, then you’ll have no friends because Recs is only for you and your friends and your second-degree connections to your friends of friends. There’s no influencer culture on Recs at all.”
The app is free to use and instead its business model is based around its partnership and relationship with local businesses who can buy adverts, facilitate discounts, and more on the platform. The app is hoping to be the online place to be, to find the offline place to be.