A new application from WillowTree Apps takes the concept of using Facebook likes to drive recommendations and brings a more local feel to it.
This new app, called Likes, comes in versions for Facebook, as well as the iPhone, Android, and other mobile devices.
The concept is simple: Users can search by category for restaurants, bars, hotels, other businesses, movies, bands, books, and other topics, and the results will be sorted by the total number of likes generated by their friends’ and their respective network of friends.
Users can also see which friends or friends of friends liked specific businesses, helping them to make better-informed decisions. WillowTree Apps said data from other existing recommendation engines will be added to Likes down the line.
WillowTree Apps Chief Executive Officer Tobias Dengel explained the motivation behind Likes:
We went on one too many business trips where review sites and apps told us the best restaurant was some generic chain near our hotel. We knew we were getting those recommendations because those restaurants served the most people, not because they were best choice for us. What we really wanted was a way to find out what our friends would recommend. So as app developers, we set out to create that app.
In the process, we stumbled on the fact that there are tens of billions of recommendations in Facebook, but no one had yet made them easily accessible. The Likes app is the first to unlock the treasure trove of data hidden away in social networks. Once we created it, we were amazed by not only how useful people found it, but also how people became addicted to seeing what their various friends liked.
Readers: Would you be more likely to trust a recommendation app that mines data from your friends and their contacts?