I was already pretty impressed with activity-recommenation startup Weotta, but the app got a lot better with its latest update.
It still includes the core Weotta experience — bringing up a “stack” of things you can can do right now, near your current location (at the moment, the app is recommending a bunch of lunch spots near my apartment). If there’s something you like, you can swipe down to save it. With everything else, you can swipe up or across to show that you’re not interested, and the next items in the stack will be tailored based on your interests (so if I keep rejecting lunch recommendations, the app should figure out that I’m not interested in food).
With the update, Weotta has gotten a new name (it was previously called Weotta Go) and a new design. More importantly, you can now use the app to plan activities in advance, thanks to new time and place filters. Combined with some of the filtering that Weotta already offered, it’s easy to tailor your search to a number of different situations — you just enter where, when, what, and who you’re planning for. In one case, you might want to look at things you can do in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood for a date tonight. In another, you could be planning for a bachelor party in Las Vegas this weekend. (The app works for dates up to 30 days ahead.)
There are other new features that should help with activity planning. For one thing, you no longer have to manually create a list of related activities. Instead, everything that you mark as interesting gets saved into a big super list, which you can then filter based on time and location. When CEO and co-founder Grant Wernick demonstrated the app for me, he highlighted a bunch of New York activities, then he automatically retrieved those activities by just selecting “New York” from the list of saved ideas. Plus, Weotta now integrates with Facebook, so you can see activities that your friends have saved and share lists with them over text, email, and Facebook.
Behind the scenes, Wernick said the app is pulling data from all over the web, using it to go beyond star ratings and make generalizations about the type of location it is and the kind of person/event it’s appropriate for. Weotta users can also enter their own reviews directly into the app. Those reviews are incorporated into a new feature called “awards,” where the app actually gives little badges to the best-reviewed spots in a number of categories, such as “top Basque restaurant.”
In some ways, the new app is a return to Weotta’s roots — when the company launched at our Disrupt conference last year, it offered a broad activity-planning website. The iPhone app that it launched more recently was focused on “right now.” The latest version seems like a nice middle ground between the two, with an app that makes it easy to find stuff to do right now, but also offers a simple interface to tweak your search and plan ahead.
Weotta now works in more than 40 cities. You can download it here.
Weotta cleans, classifies, and connects the real world around us, turning unstructured place and event data into contextually relevant results. Their deep ontology enables you to make requests like, “Give me a romantic Japanese restaurant”, “Tell me where to go on a classy date”, or “Where should I go after the game”. They were a TechCrunch Disrupt New York 2011 finalist. To showcase their capabilities at Disrupt they created the WeottaMakePlans itinerary generator. Recently, they launched the mobile...