While Foursquare, Gowala, Facebook Places and others broadcast your location via social announcement, letting friends know where you are, Bizzy’s “Check-Out” provides feedback so their recommendation engine gets smarter for your next sojourn to a local bar, business or restaurant.
Bizzy knows whether you are a pizza connoisseur, a vegan, or looking for the best steak in town.
Bizzy just added Foursquare check-in locations to its database to increase listings, and while this doesn’t integrate the two apps, it eliminates a step for users of adding venues already listed on Foursquare.
Bizzy encourages users to share favorites across social platforms and as a result, much of their traffic comes from Google, Facebook, and Twitter. With Facebook centered on social identity, and sites like LinkedIn centered on professional profile, Bizzy is about commercial currency.
Shamia told us, “People love the questions we ask them to answer. It’s missing the ‘document sentiment’ usually surrounding places and services.”
The top cities for Bizzy now are San Francisco and New York, the former for its early adopters and the latter for its high density. The user profile is primarily younger people in their 20’s and 30’s, social, urban and plugged in.
“We get daily e-mails from Canada and the U.K. asking why they can’t have Bizzy there, and almost take it personally that we’re not,” says Shamia.
Bizzy, which also maintains an active Twitter presence and Facebook outreach, is already eyeing international expansion. But its first order of business is “stabilizing the functionality, getting the user experience right, and sorting out mobile versus desktop are our priorities,” he adds.
ReachLocal acquired daily deals site DealOn Media last month for $10 million, paving the way for sponsored links with recommendations.
“Recommendations is our current business and we’re focused on improving the ratio of signals to noise,” says Shamia. But tie-ins with the ReachLocal audience can’t be far behind and monetization options are virtually open-ended.
Even ahead of Check Out’s launch, Bizzy’s Blog notes how people were already “checking out” in real-time with “had dinner at” tweets.
Bizzy converts those kinds of comments into data that rewards you with recommendations tailored to your tastes – and lets service establishments and businesses know if you’ll be coming back again.
When we covered Bizzy shortly after launch last year, Shamia said, “The problem with listing and review sites is they tell you plenty about where you can go, but they never tell you where you should go. Life is too short to read irrelevant reviews or eat at bad restaurants over and over again."
“Most location-based apps are focused on telling your friends where you are. We’ve designed check outs to let users share their opinion of a place in the same amount of time it takes to sign a credit card slip or wait for your date to get back from the bathroom. You don’t have to wait to get home to write up a review anymore,” says Shamia.