The founder and CEO of Cliq talks with us about his social media-based reviews and personalized recommendations service.
PSFK sat down to chat with Alex Pooyan Khorram, founder and CEO of Cliq, a reviews site that uses social research to show users what their own friends have to say about products, services, brands, etc. Alex tells us more about the site, how it works, and why it’s effective below:
Can you describe the site in a sentence?
Cliq is an internet utility that searches your social networks to discover which Friends and/or Friend of a Friends are connected, i.e. have already shared info on a social network, to a specific business, product, brand. We define ‘connected’ as shared social data in the form of a Facebook Like, Facebook Check-in, Follower on Twitter, Foursquare Tip, Foursquare Check-in, any comment you have posted to social network, etc.
What do users get out of it?
In summary, we want to help users make better decisions. If I want to eat at a restaurant I’ve never eaten at, book a hotel, hire a plumber, find a new dentist, purchase an iPhone app, or buy a new camera, I would like to simply type in a search query and let me know it is searching 11,000+ friends, and friends of friends. You can of course go to Yelp, Angie’s List, Trip Advisor, etc. to get public reviews from people you don’t know, but people are wary of anonymous reviews.
No other search engine in the world does this. When you are logged in to Cliq, the home page has a Friends+ number for each user. On my settings page you can see I have about 31 Friends that have logged into Cliq, and when I do a Cliq search I’m accessing shared data from 11,908 people. We keep Friend of Friends identities anonymous, but we do reveal through which friend they are connected.
Is it only a site? Will there be an app as well?
Our iPhone app will be released before the end of the year.
The system seems to aggregate your social network’s activity to provide recommendations about restaurants (and I guess later bars). How does it work, and what is the bigger trend here?
We have approximately 1 million businesses already in Cliq. We launched last week with just restaurants, but we have already added hotels, salons, spas, lawyers, etc. If a business, brand, or product has a social media presence where users can comment on it on any social network, we will have that indexed in Cliq. Each Cliq Page we have indexed is a consolidated social media page for that business or product that automatically consolidates all social media data from the various networks in one location. The bigger trend is that as humans connect further with social networks, and continue to share their thoughts about everything, consumers will have access to information from trusted sources versus anonymous opinions and/or marketing/brand managers. Cliq streamlines this process for its users.
Our goal is not to provide you a recommendation. I believe people can make their own decisions once provided the proper information. Cliq makes the process of gathering the shared and trusted information infinitely easier.
We thought the ‘who’s close by?’ a simple but obvious feature. How do you see that working?
Our Nearby and Insight feature are there to give you information about other businesses that anyone in your social network has connected to in close proximity (Nearby) and our Insight is there to show you what other types of businesses or things people that are connected to X business are also associated with. For example, if you didn’t have anyone connected to Palmer’s Steak & Seafood in Chicago, Insight let’s you know what people that are connected to that restaurant have also connected to X, Y, Z, in turn giving you demographic data about the people that are connected to Palmer’s Steak.
How will you grow/ what’s next?
To continue cataloging all US businesses, then add US products, US brands, and then continue to do the same for each country/language in the world. Cliq will also launch a widget that any website can add that displays how each individual is connected to that business/product/brand.