Apple Acquires Social Recommendation Service Spotsetter

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Apple has acquired Spotsetter, a social search engine designed to offer personalized recommendations on places to visit, reports TechCrunch. The Spotsetter app, which has now been removed from the App Store, offered personal recommendations for "great venues to eat, play, drink, and shop" via existing social networks.

The app integrated with social networks like Facebook to aggregate data on locations recommended by friends, and it included results personalized for an individual's "taste and trust."
Using the app, you could look up any place, category or keyword, then be presented with personalized results, as well as see what your friends had said about the places around you. The app would also highlight which of your friends were experts in a given area, like coffee or shopping or sushi, for example -- and you could tag your friends as experts in order to influence the recommendations. In addition, you could use Spotsetter to discover new places, by browsing the map to see where your friends have been and what they've shared.

The end result was a social search engine built on top of a mapping interface.
Spotsetter announced plans to shut down its app six days ago, but did not give a reason for the removal. Its co-founders, Stephen Tse and Johnny Lee are now listed as Apple employees on LinkedIn, however.
With fondest emotions, I'm announcing that we are closing down Spotsetter app. We still have big dreams for personalized search for places and look forward to seeing great progress in this area. Thank you everyone for your support over the past years!
According to TechCrunch, Apple may be planning to use Spotsetter's technology, which layered social data on a maps interface, to bolster its Maps app with location recommendations. The deal, for an unspecified amount, was said to focus mainly on the technology and the talent of Spotsetter's founders.

Article Link: Apple Acquires Social Recommendation Service Spotsetter
 

Mark Booth

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Jan 16, 2008
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As much as I wanted to see Apple kick Google's butt in court, I think this strategy is the better approach. Apple continues to make the moves necessary to make Google redundant under iOS and Mac OS (well, as redundant as they can). I find myself using Google's services less and less and also find myself increasingly happy with Apple's offerings. And that's good in a lot of ways, not the least of which is that I trust Apple with my personal information a LOT more than I trust Google.

Mark
 

Chabba

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2011
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Who?
Apple is pretty good at buying companies I've never heard of, while Google buys a number of large companies with whom I'm more familiar.
 

chrisbru

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May 8, 2008
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Who?
Apple is pretty good at buying companies I've never heard of, while Google buys a number of large companies with whom I'm more familiar.
As an investor, I much prefer Apple's strategy.

The Beats purchase is a significant departure from that, I guess, but in general.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
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Who?
Apple is pretty good at buying companies I've never heard of, while Google buys a number of large companies with whom I'm more familiar.
It helps them get a good deal when they aren't after the brand itself. Just being unknown outside of tech circles doesn't mean untalented or lacking a good product.
 

Arndroid

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Oct 3, 2013
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Steve Jobs would have never done this. What a waste of money. This is not the apple I grew up with. As a shareholder I am outraged. They should have bought Spotifysetter.

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For being such a perfectionist his headphones sounded like crap.
Do I take advise on headphones from a guy who can't post in the right thread or one of the most successful music producers of all time?
 

Chabba

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2011
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It helps them get a good deal when they aren't after the brand itself. Just being unknown outside of tech circles doesn't mean untalented or lacking a good product.
I agree, however, buying a better known or better company gives you a quicker benefit. Less time would be spent developing the product to compete against a bigger and more established company.
Zagat was bought by Google. They're among the most respected and trusted review site out there and have over 30 years of data.
Waze is another one. It took less than a year to incorporate it into their Maps app and website. Nest? Already 2 products on the market and would have been a good start for home automation/integration.

I'm all for adding services and value to existing products, but sometimes you gotta pony up the big bucks to get the big name. Beats is not among those I would have guessed.
 

vice-versa

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Mar 8, 2012
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Very innovative of Apple. Almost as innovative as taking a magnetic plug used on Asian Water Kettle and putting it on a laptop and then patenting it.
 

thekev

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Aug 5, 2010
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I agree, however, buying a better known or better company gives you a quicker benefit. Less time would be spent developing the product to compete against a bigger and more established company.
Zagat was bought by Google. They're among the most respected and trusted review site out there and have over 30 years of data.
Waze is another one. It took less than a year to incorporate it into their Maps app and website. Nest? Already 2 products on the market and would have been a good start for home automation/integration.
At least in the case of Zagat, I don't think that would have been a very Apple-like purchase. They don't typically buy broader services, more things they can develop further and integrate as part of the Apple brand. Google has a greater focus on advertising, but I'm still unsure how they intend to integrate a brand which is best known for dining reviews, especially at the mid to upper level as far as meal cost is concerned. It would also surprise me in a similar manner if Apple bought OpenTable.

I'm all for adding services and value to existing products, but sometimes you gotta pony up the big bucks to get the big name. Beats is not among those I would have guessed.
I wouldn't have guessed Beats either. The headphones have interesting aesthetics. I don't know much about their streaming service, but I've always liked Pandora and Spotify. At similar headphone price points, I would buy Sennheisers or simply research smaller brands rather than Beats, but that is personal preference. They seem a lot like a fashion brand without any really strong engineering, although I suspect it takes a long time to perfect the engineering on headphones.