Advances in interconnectivity have made human life faster than ever before. Nowhere is this truer than in New York City, where social media and event tech have heralded in a new age of connectivity between people. Discovery apps, especially, have accelerated nightlife with new information, such as where to eat and how well restaurants and other hotspots deliver their services.
While old-guard discovery services like Zagat, with its $31 million online expansion in 2000 and its 2011 Google acquisition, have dominated the middle-aged and elderly bracket of the market, trendier apps such as Yelp and Foursquare dominate market share among under-40 and Millennial consumers.
Compete data shows that Zagat, which charges a $10 fee to use, averages only 3% of Yelp’s monthly users. Though Yelp has over 150 million monthly unique visitors, primarily in the under-40 user demographic, amassing over 90 million reviews, its app, like Zagat’s website, still relies on them to review and rate locations in its database.
Also, unlike competitors such as Foursquare, it lacks geolocation mapping and tagging capabilities, which are hard trends among emerging discovery apps and platforms. Thus, while it is a public company, Yelp’s growth will be increasingly constrained as long as it fails to deliver these crucial features.
Foursquare, a location intelligence app, has broad market influence in the Millennial customer segment with over 60 million users, and is one of the largest user-generated geolocation databases in the world. However, while its Q1 2016 Series E raised $45 million, its valuation has been cut in half, now at approximately $250 million. Foursquare’s shift to a purely data-based business model now has investors less than enthusiastic about the tool as opposed to previous interest in the app in the discovery space.
Fortunately for consumers looking for a solution to all these apps’ problems, Postcard has launched. It is a new app incorporating GPS, social graphing, big geodata, destination analytics, and review and rating aggregation—in short, every single feature Foursquare, Yelp, and Zagat have been trying to capitalize on thus far.
Postcard goes further than any other discovery app before it: it shows users’ ongoing social events developing in real time, showing local users’ changing hotspots, customer flow at venues and in between venues, allowing users to chart their nightlife destinations as they go, and empowering them to competently and enjoyably plan their nights by ear with real-time data on their side.
Unlike Zagat or Yelp, which require users to supply the site content on an ongoing basis, anyone can simply leave Postcard’s app open as they travel, and it will update on its own. The app’s web crawler and big data capabilities aggregate ratings from all over the internet, and since the majority of those come from sites like Zagat and Yelp, the ratings update on their own with no user input, automating rating distribution and using those sites’ best features to create a more well-rounded product.
The app also allows users to invite their friends to use the app, and allows users to track friends’ movement in and out of venues, restaurants, and more. Thus, any user can not only track events in real time, but also seamlessly connect with people they know in their immediate vicinity, and plan gatherings on the go. Postcard thus puts the emphasis on discovery at a whole higher order of magnitude.
“There are plenty of apps that help you plan your night a few days in advance, like Meetup, but there’s nothing that shows what’s actually going on around you in real time. Now there’s Postcard,” says Giancarlo Roma, Postcard co-founder. “Postcard is a new way to navigate New York City that connects you directly to what’s happening at that moment.”
Localized social apps like Postcard are definitely a burgeoning trend, but none of the currently available apps have gone as far as Postcard has. Since no technology is on the same level yet, Postcard essentially has no direct competitors, and its already sizeable number of partnerships with local venues in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan at launch increases buy-in for more in Midtown and beyond in the near future.
Connecting destinations to customers by serving as the middleman, even with its current early capabilities, gives Postcard the potential to accelerate business for nightlife spots anywhere, making it a valuable tool for users, and one that venues are happy to contribute to.
Hence, Postcard is leading an emerging vanguard of social media apps that introduce novel real-time social interfacing features to supercharge and optimize day-to-day interactions with everyone and everything. With Millennials fleeing older apps and adopting newer, real-time apps, Postcard is sure to be a leader in the nightlife planning space for years to come.
Any savvy New Yorker would be well-served checking out this great app to help them have fun this Summer.
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