Apple Acquires Social Recommendation Map Search Engine, Spotsetter

TechCrunch reports Apple has acquired social engine Spotsetter, which provides recommendations on destinations to visit, which could be used to improve Apple Maps:

Spotsetter, a social search engine using big data to offer personalized recommendations as to places to go, has been quietly snapped up by Apple, TechCrunch has learned. The technology, which involves layering social data on top of a maps interface could be used to beef up Apple Maps with features competitor Google lacks.

The acquisition looks to be an aqui-hire of the founders of Spotsetter, former Google Maps engineers Stephen Tse and Johnny Lee; both men who have already updated their LinkedIn profiles to reflect new positions at Apple.

Spotsetter essentially works like Foursquare with personalized recommendations but it pulls data from multiple social platforms, making it more powerful.


The company’s Facebook page on May 30 had its final post, saying the following:

Farewell and Thank You!

With fondest emotions, 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!

Last year, Lee had this to say in a press release on the release of Spotsetter version 1.2:

“Google Maps is great at finding information about places, and social networks like Facebook delight you with your friends’ activities, but no one has brought them together in an engaging and useful way. That’s what Spotsetter does,” said Johnny Lee, CEO and Co-Founder of Spotsetter. “We make sense of all your social content and present the most relevant recommendations from people you already know and trust, on a map, wherever you are.”

It’ll be interesting to see how Apple will use Spotsetter, hopefully it will make its way into Apple Maps to improve its recommendations.




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