Google Hotpot lets friends share hotspots
Google launched a Hotpot recommendation engine that lets people tap into the tastes of trusted friends when it comes to local shops, restaurants, theaters and more.
"We're making local search results for places on Google more personal, relevant and trustworthy," product manager Lior Ron said in a blog post.
"When you rate places you like, we'll tell you about other related places you'll love."
Hotpot meshes information from a Google Places compendium of more than 50 million spots around the world with users' ratings and preferences of friends they invite into their online circles.
"Combining these three ingredients makes the hard task of choosing where to go easy; all you need is to rate places and add your friends," Ron said.
Google released a Hotpot application for smartphones running on Android mobile operating systems backed by the California-based Internet powerhouse.
The program lets people rate places using mobile mapping software on Android devices.
The early version of Hotpot made its debut just weeks after Facebook moved to become the heart of smartphone lifestyles by making it easy for people to find deals at nearby shops and connect with mobile software applications.
"There is obviously a lot of change in the mobile space," Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said during a November 3 press event at the firm's headquarters in the California city of Palo Alto.
"You can rethink any product area to be social, where all interactions involve someone's friends... That makes some really big opportunities for new companies to get built and more industries to get disrupted."
A Deals feature unveiled by Facebook promised to resonate with users and businesses by letting mobile phones connect people with bargains at local shops, restaurants or bars.
(c) 2010 AFP