Hungry? Foodspotter Knows What You Want

I was born in the South and love soul food. I can’t get enough of it, actually. I think it’s because it reminds me of home. It reminds me of sitting in the kitchen while my mom makes fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and biscuits. When I moved out of my parent’s house and into a new city, I longed for a restaurant that even remotely reminded me of the smells that filled my parent’s kitchen. More so than that, I wanted a piece of fried chicken that took me back to the house I grew up in. Knowing that it was near impossible to find a specific dish, I set out trying different restaurants in North Carolina to no avail.

The story that you just read is true and it happened to me in 2008, one year before Foodspotting was launched by a journalist, a designer and a social media exec who realized that, while there were plenty of restaurant review apps, there wasn’t one that located that perfect dish. Foodspotting doesn’t just find restaurants that you might like; it relies on normal, everyday people to find specific dishes. Foodspotting is different than many of the other food apps out there because it focuses on the good and understands that “even a ‘one-star restaurant’ can have one amazing dish.”

Foodspotting became wildly successful, but wasn’t all that user friendly. If you ate a great dish, you had to take a picture of it, email it to the company and wait for someone to post. That’s when Foodspotting developers decided to get creative and make it a Facebook application. Now, spotting food became infinitely quicker and easier. Once the application was developed, the developers realized that they had a wealth of information at their fingertips and have since become a leader in using Facebook’s Open Graph to grow their business.

How does it work? The Foodspotting team started off simple, by encouraging existing users to add Foodspotting to their Timeline. Once the user clicked “agree,” their food photos began to show up in their Timeline. The next step was searching through status updates for key words like “spot-dish” and “love-dish” that help create interest in the app. Since the implementation of Open Graph, Foodspotting has seen four times the referrals and twice the number of active monthly users.

Now that Foodspotting has seen the rewards for using Open Graph, what’s next? Imagine posting a status that says you’re heading to Cleveland for a business trip. With the access that it has to your data, Foodspotting can recommend specific dishes at specific restaurants based on the information that you have posted earlier. Sounds great, right? As of now, Foodspotting has the Facebook market cornered because of its understanding of how Open Graph works and its willingness to dive full force into the data pool that is Facebook.

Did I ever find that perfect piece of fried chicken? Well, no. I was disappointed too many times and gave up looking and finally learned to make it myself. When I moved to Athens, I jumpstarted my search for the perfect reminder of my mom’s cooking. This time though, I used Foodspotting and discovered Peaches. Weaver D’s might be the best soul food restaurant, but thanks to my fellow Foodspotters, I found the piece of chicken that took me home.

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One Comment on “Hungry? Foodspotter Knows What You Want”

  1. Thanks for your kind words and for sharing Foodspotting with your readers, jgalas2! A few things to point out – Foodspotting is a website, free app for smartphones and, more recently, a Facebook Timeline app. Our users upload photos of dishes they recommend to our site or app and then they have the option to post those dish recommendations to Facebook. Our company was founded by Alexa Andrzejewski (a user experience designer from Adaptive Path), Ted Grubb, and Soraya Darabi who oversaw social media for the New York Times.

    We’re confident we can help you discover fried chicken near you. Give our site & app a try 🙂 http://foodspotting.com/apps


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