Following a ‘soft launch’ in a handful of US cities late last year, Wist is rolling out its personalized travel recommendations iPhone app globally from today.
Wist actually began life as Triptrotting before its pivot and re-brand back in November, a move that saw it shift from more of a traveler/host matchmaking service to one that simply taps local and friends’ knowledge to learn where all the best places to visit are. Less ‘cultural exchange’, more brass tacks.
Though Wist was available in Miami only originally, it has since been rolled out to LA, Santa Monica, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, NYC, San Francisco, and a few other locales across the country. Now, it’s available to everyone around the world.
The one caveat, however, is that you are required to log in using your Facebook credentials. While this will likely deter many people from using the app, the reasons given for this mandatory move is so that it can “…show you where your friends have been and personalize recommendations based on your tastes and prior check-ins.” That all said, Wist is slick and beautifully-crafted – it’s easy to see why it’s proven popular in its short tenure in the App Store so far.
During set-up, it asks for permission to access your location. Then, once you’ve signed in with Facebook, you stipulate whether you’re looking for coffee, food or drinks. You can also filter down into whether it’s just for you, friends, business or ‘a date’, among other criteria such as distance and whether it’s open just now.
If you’ve perhaps been a little too stringent with the filters, Wist will suggest that you ‘loosen’ things up a little to garner more results. However, rather than throwing every option under the sun at you, it will only ever serve up five suggestions, ones that have been suggested by locals or friends.
Ultimately, Wist is all about unearthing a handful of hidden gems, be it a brand new restaurant or local bar. It’s well known that too much choice can often be a bad thing in terms of expediting a decision, so by limiting things to just five this should make your choice faster and easier.
“Our mission is to help people explore amazing places and have a great time together with friends,” Aigerim Shorman, founder and CEO at Triptrotting. “Too often we see people rely on the generic top ten lists or reviews from thousands of strangers, who have nothing in common with the user. As a result, people end up in places that are supposedly popular, but in reality completely don’t fit their tastes.”
Moreover, there is a ‘My List’ feature that lets you rate and bookmark places, while sharing ideas with buddies – basically it’s designed for groups of people to plan trips away together. However, this feature would be far more useful if it let you search for places outside a ten mile radius – we’re told that plans are afoot to introduce a city-picker feature in the future, letting you select a destination regardless of where you’re currently located.
Wist is available to download from the App Store for free now.