There’s a bit of buzz going around at the moment around Google’s latest project, Hotpot. The new feature is an early release of a location-based recommendation search engine powered by you and your friends.
Hotpot will make local search results for locations on Google more personal with relevant and trustworthy advice from your friends.
How? When you search for a place, for example a good Italian restaurant in your neighborhood, Hotpot will recommend places to you based on how you and your friends have reviewed & rated similar places (Italian restaurants) and will also share information about users who have rated and reviewed similar places. Here is a screen shot of how the results appear:
These recommendations come to you from a database of 50 million places with information listed on Google under Google Places including your friends that have a Google account.
To get started, simply open Hotpot, start rating places and add your friends. The Hotpot rating app will ask you to quickly rate all the places you’ve visited and let you decide exactly which friends you want to invite to your friend list so that you can maintain your privacy to some extent.
Based on your ratings (which are public, but only your friends will see your actual Google profile) you will get to see how your friends have rated and reviewed similar places.
Knowing that location based search is the fastest growing area in the online world at the moment, Google continues to make sure they keep improving their location based search and now Hotpot which hopefully will connect equally well with Google users.
Although it’s only been live for 3 days, I have to admit I love Hotpot already. Being able to see reviews from my other ‘Google’ friends is brilliant, rather that reviews from unknown people. Farewell Yelp and UrbanSpoon, hello Hotpot!