Thursday, March 3, 2011
Google Places and Hotpot
Two posts in a row on Google may seem extreme but I thought it was worth sharing another recent release that lends itself to Google's new 'social vision'. Just recently, Google Places was released as an iPhone app and included HotPot (think Yelp) as a new social feature. The TechCrunch writeup
Google is also serving up the app with Hotpot, its new local recommendation service. When you sign in with a Google identity (like a Gmail username and password), you can rate and review places. The Google Places app only lets you add your reviews and ratings to Hotpot. It doesn’t give you a Hotpot view of places, or allow you to sort places by your friends ratings as you can on the Hotpot Website.
As more people begin to use the Google places iPhone app and add reviews on HotPot, it could become a fairly solid service. Considering the popularity of Yelp.com and other similar platforms (CitySearch), it seems likely that Google sees this space as a good opportunity to further their social mission. The question still remains, though, around Google's strategic vision and how likely it is that they will be able to unseat services that have developed loyal user bases over several years.