Get better recommendations
No more searching through guide books, Googling broad terms or relying on your concierge for recommendations, says SuperLocal. The Dutch app, founded in 2016 (and set to launch any day now) aims to connect travelers directly with locals for recommendations, meetups, and/or advice while traveling.
It’s got the goods
The app combines the authentic, user-generated answers of Jelly or Quora with the local expertise of AirBnB or Couchsurfing. With a focus just on travel recommendations, you can hope to get more knowledgeable and reliable responders. Locals on the site can also put their availability to meet with travelers for a cup of coffee or even a wild night out of drinking.
If the new app can scale as hoped, it could become a go-to for reliable recommendations while abroad from likeminded people.
It is in a tough spot though, with travelers currently going to a number of different apps for similar services.
Localeur offers a network of locals providing recommendations, as does HeyLets. You’ll also find people using apps like Tinder or even Uber to get recommendations while traveling. And of course, hotel concierges still tend to be a primary resource for travelers.
Beating the competition
The crowded space of recommendation apps was discussed in an interesting Quora post from 2011, where one user asked why “social recommendation services for local businesses” never really took off. Five years later, several of the answers still seem applicable, while none of the example services listed in the original question became household names.
The first hurdle is of course attracting users and capturing consumer attention. Some apps have tried to pay users for recommendations, others like SuperLocal hope the appeal to help a tourist in need (or connect socially) will be enough. Next, there’s the fact that not all recommenders are equal, and even though the idea of locals providing recommendations makes sense, we still sometimes like expert opinions.
In recent years, while platforms like Yelp and Facebook have continued to build their recommendation bases, other smaller networks have missed the mark.
Can SuperLocal rise?
SuperLocal is not actually a social recommendation app, but rather the travel guide, although it will still face some of the same challenges moving forward. The best part of SuperLocal is the ability to get instant recommendations and have realtime conversations with locals, although that means a huge user network will have to join the app.
One lone message left unanswered by a local could drive a traveling user to a different platform.
So, how does an app like SuperLocal find it’s way? Maybe it’s implementing rewards for locals, adding a verification feature to ensure only quality recommendations are listed, or focusing just on a few select cities at the start.
[clickToTweet tweet=”In a crowded space that no single app has managed to breakthrough, SuperLocal could be the one.” quote=”There’s a long and tough road ahead, but in a crowded space that no single app has managed to breakthrough, SuperLocal could be the one.”]