View Is Like Foursquare Tips, But Visual And In Realtime #SXSW
Right now in private beta and planning on launching right before SXSW, location relevancy service View wants to tell you what you need to know, when you need to know it. Unlike Foursquare Tips, there’s no checking in to View, you just open the app and the relevant information (“discovery”) comes to you on your View Wall in realtime. Discoveries like “The wi-fi password to this restaurant is gofish123,””Amy is the best waitress here, plus she gives free drinks,” and “Did you know that President Nixon gave a speech in this building?” are accompanied by photos and location.
You don’t have announce your location to view each discovery and can also browse and contribute to the service from home at View.io. View allows you to increase or decrease you location relevancy, by 1/2 mile, 1 mile, 5 miles and 10 miles. You can also sort View disoveries by most Popular (there is a voting feature), most Recent, and Top of all time. Users can submit an item for View as either News, Tip or Deal and the app uses the Foursquare and Google APIs to add the corresponding location.
View co-founder Felix Chan tells me that the ideal usecase for this app is SXSWi, where thousands of early adopters congregate, starving for the details on the hottest parties, best BBQs or just useful information about local deals. Its big play is relevancy (Chan and co-founder Zac Bowling formerly lead the search relevancy team at doubleTwist) which it gages by time-elapsed and other factors.
Says Chan, “A party might be really relevant to you even two blocks away, or you may want to drive there. One thing that Foursquare doesn’t do very well is tell you what’s the hottest stuff at SXSW, because its not built for that. But we actually rank everything, like popularity, location, recency and a little bit of personalization and text.”
While the location space is saturated, with Foursquare and Yelp pretty much dominating the two opposite ends of the spectrum, there’s no one specializing in serendipitous granular information discovery as of yet. “When you open View up, we actually show you a photo along with a clear headline of what’s actually hot there, almost like a lead in journalism,” says Chan “Our grand vision is to have a magic genie in your pocket, to tell you what you need to know.”
Chan tells me that eventually he wants to integrate Facebook Interests and category tagging as well as event search but is trying to keep the app streamlined for the moment so “you don’t have to check in to a thousand features.” The iPhone app will be available for people in SF, NY and Austin sometime next week (Android users can use the service at View.io on the mobile). The first 25 interested TechCrunch readers can get access to the beta by following the link here.
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