Apple acquires Spotsetter, a social search engine that delivers personalized recommendations for places

“Spotsetter, a social search engine using big data to offer personalized recommendations as to places to go, has been quietly snapped up by Apple, TechCrunch has learned,” Sarah Perez reports for TechCurnch. “The technology, which involves layering social data on top of a maps interface could be used to beef up Apple Maps with features competitor Google lacks.”

“The deal, we understand, was mainly about acquiring the technology and the talent of the two founders, ex-Google Maps engineer Stephen Tse and Johnny Lee (whose LinkedIn profiles also now point to their move to Apple),” Perez reports. “Spotsetter debuted during AngelPad’s Spring 2012 class, then later went on to raise $1.3 million in seed funding from Rahul Prakash, 2020 Ventures, Javelin Venture Partners in addition to AngelPad, according to CrunchBase. We don’t know the specifics of the deal terms at this time, but hear that the ‘investors are happy,’ so to speak.”

“Initially available as a web and mobile application, Spotsetter used a patent-pending algorithm to pull in users’ content from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare, as well as venue content from over 30 review sites and lists from trusted sources like Yelp, Zagat, the New York Times, Michelin, and TripAdviser,” Perez reports. “Using the app, you could look up any place, category or keyword, then be presented with personalized results, as well as see what your friends had said about the places around you. The app would also highlight which of your friends were experts in a given area, like coffee or shopping or sushi, for example – and you could tag your friends as experts in order to influence the recommendations. In addition, you could use Spotsetter to discover new places by browsing the map to see where your friends have been and what they’ve shared.”

Read more, and see screenshots, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sound like a very useful addition could be coming to our mapping application of choice!


  1. This looks pretty sweet. Since Apple now owns it, I take that it will be iOS only then, right? I just can’t see this on an Android. Most Android settlers live in uncool small towns anyway. Another great addition to Apple’s resume.

  2. Sorry if this is just me being stupid (again)
    I have random green double underlined ads in Safari and Firefox on this site. I have looked everywhere and all the things I have read pont to extensions etc. I have checked and I do not have anything installed.

    I do not have this on any other site! No I read that the vibrant media ads are perhaps from this site! If so, I ask MDN to STOP this CRAP TODAY! I know running a site a big and as up te date as MDN costs a lot of money, but to do unto your users what normally is described as something you would not do to your worst enemy is unforgivable.

    Can we please get this sorted? Is it me? I would be glad to learn it is just me because it would be ridiculous to say the least if this sprung from MDN….

    Sorry for being off-topic, but to me it could not be more on-topic.

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