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March 26, 2018
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4 Best Local Networks

By, Dana Hendrickson

 

Foursquare

This social media app is available to Apple products, and Android devices, alike.  It is free to install, however, once you install it, it starts to get pretty invasive into your personal life.  Foursquare works by finding your friends from platforms such as your contacts on your smartphone, from your Facebook account, and from your Twitter account.  From there, it will then notify you of what your friends are doing, as well as, it will notify your friends as to what you are doing.

Once you’re done being creeped out by this feature, you can then go to public places, such as a local business, and “check in” using the app, however, the app brings up a list of places near you, and if you do not see the place you are at on that list, then you have to add it to the list.  After using the “check in” feature, the app updates your status, and your friends who also use the app will be able to see where you are, and what time you “checked in”.

Foursquare also offers a few other features such as, finding places to go, reviewing places you have been to, and “unlocking” badges, and mayorships.  These are earned by “checking in” at special places, and re-visiting the same place more than once.  Along with this, some businesses may offer perks to their “mayors”, as a “thanks” to doing business with them.

 

Yelp

Yelp is another social media app, which allows patrons to leave reviews on the places they have visited.  While word-of-mouth is one of the best forms of promoting a business, public reviews also come with problems.

One issue with allowing the public to leave reviews for the rest of the public to see is, legitimacy of the review/reviewer.  Pranksters are not new-news, and they are ever prevalent.  Anyone who want to write a review for a place can, even if they’re bored, and feeling especially cynical that day, because, as we see, a lot of reviews posted can be very extreme, and/or very personal.  Furthermore, people who have not actually visited the establishment in question, are able to write reviews for the business, which does not make sense if they have never actually been to that place.  I mean, how can you fully trust what someone says about something, if they haven’t experienced it first-hand?

Another issue with Yelp is that their reviews can be out-of-date.  A lot of changes can occur within a short-span of time, or a long-span of time, and if a review was written before the business made their changes, the review is then out-of-date, and practically useless.  Simply stated, these reviews aren’t always occurring in real-time.

 

UBMe

UBMe is a free to download, and a relatively new app, however, it has made headway by expanding itself into more than 54 other countries, besides the USA.  That’s pretty impressive for a young app, if you ask me, and for people seeking things to do, this is the perfect app for you.

Similar to Foursquare, UBMe allows you to “check in” to your current location, and see what’s going on around you, but it gets better.  While you’re at a place of business, such as a bar, you can “check in”, and LIVE CHAT with the other people that are also in that establishment.  So, if you go to a bar new to you, and you don’t know if the mixed drinks are any good, you can ask an experienced customer in the same bar for recommendations, just by simply typing the question in the Live Chat, and waiting for a response.  Even better yet, these reviews, and recommendations are coming from actual customers, at the same place as you, and in real-time, so no more outdated, or fake reviews.  Moreover, you don’t even have to talk to a stranger face-to-face in order to find out what’s good, if you don’t want to.  You’re welcome, introverts.

UBMe also offers perks to users of the app, when they check in at a business.  For example, some restaurants have deals where you can check in, and receive a free slice of pizza!  If you don’t like pizza, you can simply look at the map provided by the UBMe app, and it will show you a bunch of other places, and events happening around you.  It truly takes the work out of searching for something to do.

In addition, as I touched upon before, since UBMe is up-and-running in other countries, you can Live Chat with people across the world!  If you’re planning a trip/vacation abroad, you can find out from locals there, where the best places are to go.  This eliminates any worry about spending your hard-earned money on a place that you have no idea about, because now you can have the insights you desire.  If you do not speak the language of the country you are going to visit, UBMe is working on a, in-chat translator, so that there are no more language barriers!

 

Facebook

Everyone has heard of Facebook, but it has been falling behind, and disappointing people recently, especially since the data privacy scandal, with Cambridge Analytica, has come out.  To make matters worse, and morbid, by the end of the current century, the number of profiles of deceased people will outnumber the amount of profiles of alive people.  Also, young people are moving away from Facebook, since a lot of their older family members are joining, and finding joy in younger apps.

As far as Facebook’s events feature, it is hard to find a variety of events happening locally to you.  Although Facebook makes an effort to suggest events to you, they actually may not interest you at all, not to mention the annoying notifications you get when one of your thousands of Facebook friends is interested in going to an event.  One positive aspect of the events feature, however, is that you are able to create your own event, but again, as we have seen with Yelp, this isn’t necessarily always a good thing, as people can make stuff up.

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