Google has just unveiled its new ‘hotpot’ tool, a location-based recommendation search engine which is marketed as being ‘powered by you and your friends.’
With location based tools being one of the fastest growing components to the internet Google has been concentrating on improving existing tools such as Places recently but now they have decided to introduce Hotpot.
Hotpot incorporates all of the ratings and reviews posted to Google Places but it adds an extra, personal touch. Google Places currently takes its data from online resources like Yelp but Hotpot aims to encourage users to rate and review things directly from their own Google profiles. The rating and reviews are then tracked and retained as well as likes and dislikes being remembered in the search engine.
Hotpot is much more user friendly than Places which has a more business feel to it. Hotpot is aimed more towards regular internet users rather than people who use the internet as internet based search professionals. Hotpot places its data in easy to see ways such as the star rating image without overloading the user with too much information.
Hotpot also incorporates some social features where the user can create a profile nickname and use Hotpot as a separate tool added onto their Google account. All users are able to see the nickname chosen but only friends will be able to see the Google account linked to it, this way people will be able to directly search for their friends reviews and ratings.
Hotpot also offers a number of different ways to search, the user can filter their search results to find businesses and places they haven’t previously reviewed or to only see places reviewed by their friends.
In conclusion Hotpot has a user friendly interface, is simple to use and has possibly beaten Facebook in the race to incorporate a Places tool with a review tool. We like!