Apple has purchased Spotsetter, a social search engine that uses big data to offer personalised recommendations for places to go. The news was first reported by TechCrunch. The terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed.
According to TechCrunch, a big part of the deal involves the two founders behind Spotsetter: Stephen Tse is an ex-Google Maps engineer and Johnny Lee has worked as a former consultant at Siemens and former CTO at FitFiend, a social network for fitness professionals.
Spotsetter was designed to combine recommendations from friends with trusted reviews and other data to create more social maps. It would show you which friends were “experts” in a given area, and you could tag your friends as experts (like LinkedIn) to boost the influence of their recommendations. You could also discover new places by browsing Spotsetter’s maps to see where your friends have been and what they have recommended.
Thanks to a patent-pending algorithm, Spotsetter was able to pull in data fron social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Foursquare, as well as venue information from more than 30 review sites like Yelp, TripAdviser, Zagat and The New York Times.
Last summer, Spotsetter said it had processed 5 million user profiles, 40 million venues and 1 million curated venue content items globally.
Spotsetter’s app, which was available on iOS and Android, officially closed down just six days ago, with Lee posting the following message:
With fondest emotions, I’m announcing that we are closing down Spotsetter app. We still have big dreams for personalised search for places and look forward to seeing great progress in this area. Thank you everyone for your support over the past years!
TechCrunch said Apple and Spotsetter had been discussing a deal for some time, but the deal “quickly closed last week after other companies found out and became interested.”
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