Perhaps unfortunately timed given Facebook’s purchase of location review service Nextstop, location-based recommendation service Rummble has launched a new Facebook app that allows users to send and receive ideas for places to visit. The interesting part? You don’t have to be signed up to Rummble to use it.
Recommend a Place has been designed to showcase Rummble’s open API. Users enter the name of a city they’re planning to visit and Rummble then finds Facebook friends based in that city. If you don’t know anyone in the city, the app can crawl your friends’ accounts for mentions of the city you’re interested in giving you a list of people it thinks might have been.
After choosing some likely candidates, the app posts a message to their Facebook walls asking for recommendations. Those friends can then reply via the app, using Rummble’s extensive place database to pick out cafes, museums, music venues, parks or anywhere else they think you might like.
Now, the cynic in me says that I could just post a status message on Facebook asking for recommendations and get replies from friends without ever using this app. However, Recommend a Place taps into Rummble’s database meaning you can click through to read more reviews of a place easily if you wish.
The app also flags up an important aspect of location-based services that is often missed. They’re data businesses first and foremost. The true value in Rummble, Foursquare, Yelp and their ilk is the data they hold and what they can do with it. By allowing users to contribute to the Rummble database without ever actively signing up, they are enriching their database of information and making it more valuable.
The problem is that there are so many services out there doing the same thing. Choosing the right service to deposit your reviews and recommendations with is difficult. If you’re an active, enthusiastic place reviewer, Yelp or Google Places are probably the way to go thanks to their large userbases. However, Rummble’s unique offering is how it makes reviewing and recommending easy. The new Facebook app follows some recently launched Twitter magic that lets users add reviews with a tweet.
What’s interesting is that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg selected this app as one of his favourites at at a recent Facebook developer event in London, describing it as a “simple solution to a problem which needs solving”. Looks like Zuck decided to solve it his own way by buying Nextstop.