The world is becoming a more social place. We tweet, we share, we vine – and we take pictures of food to post on any and every social media site. The online restaurant reservation provider, OpenTable, is capitalizing on this trend by acquiring FoodSpotting, the San Francisco start-up. The mobile app’s sole mission is to let users showcase their latest restaurant meal, what it looks like and where to get it.
Bought for $10 million, OpenTable will integrate the app into its reservation service. Although the full details of how this will occur have yet to be released, it is clear that visuals will become a larger focus of the site.
By adding visually compelling content to help people decide where to dine, we hope to make it even easier to find the perfect table.
Although a rudimentary review system is in place, currently, OpenTable is mostly used to book tables. Chief Executive Matt Roberts hopes to turn choosing a restaurant into a more social and dynamic affair.
If you can have a rich menu with images instead of just words and recommendations of dishes you may like, it really just broadens the experience and helps diners get the most of their evening out
The integration of FoodSpotting makes this possible: when a person goes to book a restaurant, they could see user-uploaded images of recommended dishes, adding another dimension to their choice. Instead of searching for a restaurant by cuisine, one could search for a dish they are craving – such as tacos – and then click through pictures until the most appetite-enhancing one is found. They could then make a reservation seamlessly — at least this is the potential of combining these two platforms.
FoodSpotting, which began out of the founders’ ‘love of obscure dishes’ currently hosts three million photos of food, with a couple hundred thousand added to the site each month. The app will continue to exist as a stand-alone product so that people can post food spotted at establishments not found on OpenTable.