iOS app Spindle just launched Spindle Alerts, which provides customized, timely notifications about events and special deals at each user’s favorite places. Co-founder Pat Kinsel told me Spindle Alerts sets itself apart from services like Foursquare Radar by not only recommending nearby places to users, but also using the company’s search technology to decide how interesting and useful an update will be to them. Spindle (which we covered last month when it first hit the App Store) constantly monitors social networking updates from businesses and organizations in Boston, San Francisco and New York City, the three cities currently covered by the app.
“Spindle considers implicit signals like location, time of day, business category, and the actual terms and phrases within every social update to assign an algorithmic score to each Tweet or Facebook post. Spindle is also able to recognize when content is relevant, a much more important signal than when it was created,” says Kinsel. Spindles’ team plans to fine-tune delivery by monitoring how people react to each alert. Examples cited by Spindle of how users can take advantage of its new feature include updates from a concert venue announcing last-minute tickets before a show is sold out or a restaurant offering a special tasting menu.
Last month Spindle, which boosts a team filled with ex-Microsoft engineers, announced that it had raised a $2.3 million round of funding from investors including Polaris Ventures, Greylock Partners, Lerer Ventures, SV Angel, Atlas Ventures, Broad Beach Ventures, Project 11, Ray Ozzie and Raman Narayanan.
Spindle announced its New York City services two weeks ago and is now eyeing Chicago and Los Angeles as the most likely cities for its next releases. People can also vote for their favorite city by registering with their zipcode on Spindle. Though the company is currently not divulging its exact number of users, Kinsel says that Spindle is enjoying stickiness: among active users, Spindle sees an average of about four queries per day. The company is also looking at international expansion, but will have to do “significant work” to adapt its algorithms beyond English-speaking markets, says Kinsel.