Apple buys social location search engine Spotsetter


Apple has acquired Spotsetter, a social search engine to recommend you places to visit based on social cues from your friends and family.

Spotsetter shut down the service following the acquisition, and some of its employees will join Apple and work on improving its mapping service. TechCrunch reports:

Spotsetter, a social search engine using big data to offer personalized recommendations as to places to go, has been quietly snapped up by Apple, TechCrunch has learned. The technology, which involves layering social data on top of a maps interface could be used to beef up Apple Maps with features competitor Google lacks.

The deal, we understand, was mainly about acquiring the technology and the talent of the two founders, ex-Google Maps engineer Stephen Tse and Johnny Lee (whose LinkedIn profiles also now point to their move to Apple).

Spotsetter was available on iOS, Android and web, and gave you personalized recommendations by pulling in data from social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare, as well as over 30 review sites including Yelp, Zagat etc. The service had managed to process “5 million user profiles, 40 million venues, and one million curated venue content items from around the world.”

Are you looking forward to a social layer on top of the Apple Maps app based on social data? Let us know in the comments below.