Austin duo Usman Tareen (CEO) and Sheraz Mahmood (Chief Technology Officer) recently launched Placesbyme, a new social/discovery app, that could eventually give Yelp a run for their money. Now out of beta and into the market as of mid-February, the app allows users to share and discover restaurants, hotels, and more.
From the Austin Business Journal report:
Austin.com is and always has been a site that celebrates and promotes the unique people and places of Austin, TX and surrounding cities. Though many businesses, locations, and events are closed at this time, we continue to highlight those things so that you can plan to experience them in the future.
“Our mission is to help people share places they love and easily discover the best places recommended by their friends. It’s a human-curated platform where humans are your trusted friends,” Tareen said in a written statement.
On first glance it seems like sort of a Yelp meets Swarm/Foursquare (or that other Austin geolocation app, Gowalla-here’s hoping things go better for Placesbyme), but personally, I always live by the “buy local” philosophy, so I’m going to try to add this app to regular use. Plus, it’s kind of nice to see an app start out somewhat fresh and clean in the fairly saturated review market without having to dig and dig through reviews to find something useful.
After spending just a few minutes with the app, here are initial observations and a quick walk through:
- quick and easy setup with Facebook login, though the autofill of your full name and subsequently filling in your username as your full name was a bit unappealing
- pick two people to follow: Tareen and Mahmood are on the list, might as well follow them, they seem to know a bit about the app (go ahead and follow me, too, if you like)
- the app is for global locations, and since there aren’t many users or recommendations yet, you can easily see where the founders like to spend their time when not in Austin
- the app breaks down into your basic scrolling feed of recommendations by those you’re following, in chronological order of their upload (home); a global map with recommendations by categories: destination, eat, play, stay (recommended); and a prominent plus sign for users to easily upload their own recommendations
- other navigation choices include a follow tab that links to Facebook and your profile for updates
Placesbyme is currently available to download in the iTunes store.