Ah, location-based social networking. I will have to side with TechCrunch that it is starting to lose its fun. Sure Foursquare and Gowalla are great, and I have been a proud Foursquare user from its early, humble start. However, it seems to me these services are starting to lose their touch; they really just need more of an incentive for users to use their service than becoming the mayor of your local coffee shop. Yes, Foursquare does have some specials with some of the supporting venues, but frankly, that number is not too large. This week’s App of the Week brings more to the table; a complete experience that doesn’t try to win the social networking war, but rather tries to work with some of the social network gorillas to add a whole new way to use them. This app is RateCred.
When I first started using RateCred, I was greeted with something I really hadn’t seen before. This wasn’t a clone, it wasn’t a twist on other apps I had used, and I actually had to take some time to see what it could do. I have spent the last week or so using the app, and not even using it for what it was meant for, but rather trying to see everything it could do. Let me tell you now, I was pleasantly surprised. It, in my opinion, combined a lot of different ideas into one package while working hand-in-hand with Twitter. The previous statement was huge for me. Twitter integration will be a huge player in whether this goes big or not. And for me, the odds are in RateCred’s favor. Every time you rate something on RateCred (which I will explain in due time) it broadcasts it to all of your Twitter followers. You don’t have to feel like you’re all alone in this service posting to yourself, because it works so well with Twitter. One of the ways this experience is even better, is that there is a timeline in the app itself that lets you see all of your Twitter friend’s ratings, so you don’t have to go out and find them. RateCred does it for you.
When you open the app you are greeted with a menu. At the top left corner is basically what RateCred is all about, Ratings. You find places near you; whether it be restaurants, convenience stores, hotels, whatever your heart desires; and you can rate it. It uses location services to find places near you, and if the place you are looking for is not there, you can easily add it for future use.
RateCred’s rating system is by far the best I have seen. It isn’t just a little bar that you drag from 1 to 5 on whether you enjoyed your meal, it is more. You choose the things you liked and or disliked about a venue, and RateCred starts generating your rating for you, based on what you chose. This feature was extremely cool to me, and what is makes it better is if you don’t think the venue is getting a high enough rating (or a low enough one) you can move it to where you see fit.
Not only can you rate things, but you can give/get credit. This is another feature that sets this app apart. Sometimes, user reviews can be so biased and unfair. With RateCred this can be eliminated by going to the Cred area and giving people credit. If someone’s review is spot on, give them credit, and they may also return the favor.
Now all of this is great and all, but why participate? Well, the answer is simply rewards. If you get credit you can get certain awards. If people give you Cred you can unlock awards and move up on the RateCred leaderboards. Some of these rewards have real value, like discounts on prices of certain things, and we all know that’s awesome. RateCred is awesome. It is the complete package of location-based social networking and gaming. It is fun and rewards you, plus I like to know whether I am supposed to get the ribs or the NY strip. RateCred is extremely useful and well thought out, and that is why I have chosen it for this week’s App of the Week.
Be sure to Click Here and visit the RateCred website so you can see for yourself!
about the writer: Elijah Ketchum is a 15 year old sophomore in High School in Cincinnati OH. His Android experience started with the Motorola Droid. He enjoys everything about Android and convincing his iPhone fan boy classmates to switch. He recently convinced his father, a long term Blackberry user to switch to a Motorola Droid X. Like Elijah’s writing? Have advice? email firstname.lastname@example.org