Lauren Peek | @treblemaker45 Before the internet, people shared recommendations and experiences through word-of-mouth. People have always tended to trust recommendations from friends and family members about where to eat, hotels to stay at, and entertainment to enjoy. App creators and social media platforms are acutely aware of this fact, and have been attempting to tap into this with new programs that let you see where your friends have been dining and visiting.
OpenTable is a restaurant service that allows people to search restaurants based on times, dates, food, and price (etc.) and then make reservations. Members can post restaurant reviews and rate their dining experiences. The company has been around since 1998, and has used social media to grow in the past. Last May, the company partnered with Foursquare, a popular location based check-in app. Now, OpenTable has gone to Facebook.
OpenTable’s new Facebook app, Places I’ve Eaten, is its latest move towards becoming more social. Users can now keep lists of restaurants they have dined at and would like to try, in addition to locations their friends have dined at and rated. Places I've Eaten has all of the best features of OpenTable, (such as searching for what a restaurant is best known for, what type of food it serves, etc.) in conjunction with info from your friends. Users may keep their dining history private, if they prefer, while still seeing information their friends share.
OpenTable has seen that people still rely on word-of-mouth recommendations from people that they trust and provided members the recommendations of their friends and family. In the movement of social media towards friend-based-feedback, OpenTable has taken a huge step in the right direction.