If you are anything like me you, then are connected to numerous social networking accounts. When you have more than just a few services spitting information at you, it becomes difficult to keep them all straight. But even worse is the fact that all this information is available through the various social networking outlets and, well, and it is pretty much useless.
Sure, Twitter and Facebook let me keep up with my friends and even see what some non-friends are doing. But there has to be some way to actually put all that information to use. That’s what Roamz seeks to do. I had the opportunity to speak to Roamz CEO Jonathan Baruch recently; I learned a bit more about Roamz, how it came to be and what their plans are.
First off lets look at what Roamz actually is.
Roamz is a location-based app that gather information from various social networking services and puts it to work. It cuts through the static to find the information you want, and then leads you to what Baruch repeatedly referred to as “serendipitous moments” that would otherwise me missed by anyone but locals “in the know”. In effect, Roamz turns you into an instant insider by gathering, processing and presenting information from social networks. As the Roamz website explains,
The crew at Roamz love finding out about secret spots that only locals tend to hear about. Back in early 2011 Roamz CEO Jonathan pondered about why there weren’t any mobile apps that helped share info about local spots and understood what types of places he likes (and dislikes). While he occasionally heard about cool places and events via Twitter and Facebook (he doesn’t have nearly enough friends!) none of these recommendations were based on his preferences, and there was too much luck involved in finding out about unreal places and events.
Lightbulb Moment: What if there was an app that could filter through the noise on the web and only tell you about places that you are interested in? (A bit like how a friend recommends things that they know you’d be interested in).
What if there was an app that could help you find out about stuff going on at places around you right this moment? What if there was an app that could help others experience the serendipitous moments that locals tend to experience first?
This led them to develop an app that “lets you discover”. Again from the Roamz website,
If you are walking down the street and your favorite café has a barista teaching customers how to make a coffee, then this is a Roamz moment. If you are down by the beach and there is a produce market around the corner, you should find out about it on Roamz. If there is an awesome new Japanese restaurant a few blocks away from your house with mind-blowingly good sushi, Roamz can help you discover it!
While speaking with Baruch, I was able to get a better picture of what he is seeking to do with the service. His passion for the project was clear and, quite frankly, the more he talked the more interested I became in giving it a try. As he explained to me,
People are looking for more practical things with the information coming in from various social media services. Roamz lets you drill down to the data and information you want and give it to you.
He acknowledged that there is a natural limit to the number of services and the amount of information people are able or willing to take in. In fact, he noted, that’s exactly why they developed Roamz. One can think of Roamz as the local Yellow Pages, on a cocktail of steroid and speed.
Unlike the noise that comes from current services, Roamz takes information from the likes of FourSquare and Twitter, services that otherwise simply “dump” information in front of you, and add a layer of intelligence that potentially turns that information into something useful. For example, as you are walking down the street Roamz might not only let you know what restaurants are nearby, but it might serve up a picture from someone who loved their meal just five minutes ago. That, in turn, makes your decision about where to eat simpler.
When I asked about monetizing the service Baruch, was frank in noting that they plan to partner with various companies. As he noted,
With Adwords Google showed that if people know someone is paying and that link is called out because of it, but the rest of the data is also presented, people don’t have an issue.
And if those called out services and companies offer special discounts, then people will likely be even happy about it!
Since Roamz is free, it is worth downloading the app and checking it out to see if it is something that might be useful to you. But, and this is a huge but, don’t judge the service based upon what you download now. You see they are about to release a new version that will have even more advanced technology under the hood, so people can more easily and effectively define the focus of their searches. When that happens, Roamz will likely become far more useful..