In a bid to boost its mapping service, Apple has scooped up social search engine app SpotSetter, according to Techcrunch. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the company. Founded in 2011, SpotSetter provides personalized recommendations for places to go such as restaurants, stores and entertainment venues.
As a result of the acquisition, SpotSetter team will join Apple and enhance its Maps offering by adding a social layer to it. It is more of an ‘acquihire’ as the two founders Johnny Lee and Stephen Tse have already joined Apple.
The app announced last week on its blog that it is shutting down both apps on iOS and Android. SpotSetter uses an algorithm to aggregate information from users’ social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Instagram. SpotSetter also allowed users to search for particular locations and see if your friends have been there, or to read reviews about them.
Spotsetter pulled in content from other sites like Zagat, OpenTable and Yelp. As of last year, Spotsetter says that it had 5 million user profiles and 40 million venues. A user could search via place, category or keyword to find out more about a particular place, with special attention paid to friends’ opinions on various venues.
Apple has been working hard to improve its mapping experience from the past year. The company acquired online transit navigation service HopStop in July last year and mapping company Embark in August. Also, in December the company bought Topsy Labs Inc, a similar service that aggregates data from social networks like Twitter and Google+.