OpenTable gets in on social discovery with ‘Places I’ve Eaten’ Facebook app

opentable places ive eaten

OpenTable, an online restaurant reservation provider, is stepping up its social angle and tip-toeing into Foursquare territory. OpenTable today announced the launch of a new Facebook app, “Places I’ve Eaten,” which uses the power of your friend’s recommendations to help you decide where you’ll make your next dinner reservation.

You’ll be able to see your friends’ dining activities, including their favorite restaurants, places they’ve already dined at, recommendations, their restaurant ratings, and even the people they visited the restaurant with thanks to Facebook’s tagging feature. 

The app’s visual element makes this all the easier. Click on a restaurant on the map, and the details including yours or your friends’ ratings, the last visit, what sort of meal the restaurant is best for, and people who’ve been are displayed in a card that pops open. And of course being that OpenTable is primarily a reservation application, users can click on a button to “Find a Table” right away.

“We hope the app will help diners discover new hot spots, share recommendations with friends, and experience their favorite restaurants all over again,” OpenTable Vice President of Consumer Marketing Scott Jampol says.

Despite OpenTable’s intentions, there really isn’t enough content to convince you that the places your friends have eaten will be the very places that you’d eat at yourself. Admittedly the app is in its beta stage, so there’s much room for improvement. What’s peculiar though OpenTable’s decision to build a Facebook app instead of a mobile app. Foursquare has proved to us already that restaurant discovery can be accomplished on mobile, not to mention the fact that OpenTable itself has robust iOS and Android apps.

Then there’s the fact that OpenTable acquired FoodSpotting with every intention of building out its social features on mobile. “The primary areas of focus for us are mobile, providing really rich content and social,” OpenTable CEO Matthew Roberts told Mashable last month when the acquisition was announced. Not surprisingly, OpenTable’s spokesperson tell us that OpenTable is “working on a mobile experience for Places I’ve Eaten and will continue to iterate.”

But should OpenTable get into restaurant discovery using your friend’s social data through Facebook for instance, the company would be stepping on its partner’s toes. You might remember that OpenTable and Foursquare partnered up in September of last year. Although it’s clear enough that social restaurant discovery – Foursquare’s calling card – is on Open Table’s agenda. As for what OpenTable had to say about potentially competing with Yelp and Foursquare, its spokesperson told us, “We want to be everywhere people are thinking about dining out, so we’re very proud to be the restaurant reservation provider for Foursquare and Yelp. Dining is an inherently social activity, so we believe Places I’ve Eaten is a natural fit for Facebook.”

Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Mobile

These parental control apps will help keep your kids' device habits in check

Looking for extra security and monitoring on mobile devices? Take a look at the best parental control apps for limiting time and keeping watch on your child's phone usage and behavior. We have the top options for Android and iOS here.
Home Theater

What is Terrarium TV? Here’s everything you need to know

Terrarium TV offered a way to watch movies & TV for free, but now after a troubled existence, the app's developer has shut it down, and offered an ominous message to users on his way out.
Social Media

GIF almost anywhere with Giphy’s new keyboard and sticker maker

We all love GIFs, but not every app supports them. Fortunately, the new Giphy' keyboard brings GIFs to any iOS app that supports multimedia. The update also comes with a new tool for creating animated stickers.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.