Social discovery

Discovering new people to meet, things to do or places to visit based on your interests, location or network lies at the heart of many start-ups in 2012

1. Social discovery
2. Curation
3. Social commerce
4. Gamification
5. Crowdsourcing and categorisation
6. Freemium and subscription models
7. Niche social networks
8. Location-based apps
9. APIs
10. Customisation

In the past six months, we’ve witnessed an explosion in ‘social discovery’ start-ups – that is, businesses that recommend cool new things to do, places to visit or people to meet based on who their users are and what they like to do.

Whether integrating and tapping into data from existing social networks or collecting data themselves, a new wave of start-ups and apps is emerging, giving us more and more visibility of what our friends – often our biggest influences – are into, and offering increasingly relevant and targeted recommendations.

For example, Danish start-up Everplaces, an iPhone app which allows you to bookmark places you visit (or would like to), has just launched a new social discovery feature, which integrates with your Facebook or Twitter account to find recommendations on the best places to visit from your friends.

Meanwhile, in the UK, location-based dating app Trueview plans to shake up the burgeoning online dating market through social discovery. Rather than writing a cringe-inducing blurb about yourself, you simply log the things you do as you go about your life – for example, if you’ve just cooked your favourite meal, or enjoyed a film. These updates build up your profile dynamically, and Trueview then matches you to people with similar interests nearby.

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