Meet the newest social media app: Friendspire
In a time of quarantining and social distancing, many of us have turned to social media to get our daily fix of human interaction. A new social media app, Friendspire, wants to bring more relevance to your endless feed scrolling by helping you find the next TV shows to binge, the next book to read, or maybe the next podcast to listen to.
The app has gotten great reviews so far, with plenty praising the authentic recommendations. One reviewer said “Fairly reliable aggregator for reviews, and doesn’t have any paid/commercial type influence that a Yelp would. Digging it so far”
We had a chat with Friendspire’s two founders, Markus and Morten, about their company, and this is how it went.
So in a nutshell what is Friendspire?
Markus: Friendspire is a free app to find recommendations from your friends. We cover movies, TV-shows, books, podcasts, restaurants, and bars. Some of our users have described it as a Yelp meets Instagram.
While I’m not particularly thrilled about that comparison, it does help describe what Friendspire is. We give you recommendations based on who you follow, and that way help you cut through all the noise out there on the internet today.
I get it! How did you come up with that idea?
Morten: It really started with a general frustration with the amount of time we both wasted on finding stuff. At the time I was traveling quite a lot and every time I arrived in a new city looking for places to eat, I always found myself scrolling through Yelp or Google, and the places I went to were just never that good despite great reviews.
The best places were always recommended by a friend, who got it recommended by a friend. Sometimes, colleagues would forward me an e-mail with lists of restaurant recommendations in a city, and as much as it was helpful, it was also so unstructured and hard to use. I thought to myself: What if all this information was somehow captured in a product and could be easily shared?
Markus: We started looking deeper into this idea, and we realized that the same story would repeat itself within books, podcasts, and movies. Movies and TV shows are a particularly interesting category, I think, because of all the new streaming services that have arisen. Today, choosing a movie to watch has almost become a chore.
Isn’t that ridiculous when you really think about it? It shouldn’t be that hard. That’s really the goal of Friendspire: Help you make an easy choice, so you spend more time enjoying and less time scrolling. On that note, we should also say that we actually connect with streaming services, so you can even use Friendspire to look up where to consume a given show or movie. We’re quite proud of that feature.
What distinguishes you from other apps out there?
Markus: The main difference is the focus on friends. There’s quite a lot of apps out there that help you find movies, books, or any of our other categories, but not many rely on friends as the method of curation. This also has the added benefit of getting to know your friends a little better or realizing they actually hate your favorite show. Morten and I have drawn out beef about Friends vs. Seinfeld.
Morten: Yes, that’s true. You will have to download Friendspire to see what we both think. Kidding aside, we should also mention that very few apps have as many categories as Friendspire. We think there’s a lot of value in going this broad, so you can replace your unstructured notes on your phone with Friendspire.
The app will keep track of it all for you and will help remind you what you wanted to watch. It’s been challenging building a product that can adjust to that many different categories and ingest that much data, but we think it will pay off in the end.
Alright. To round it off, let’s have some recommendations.
Morten: I like this question. Let me think. I’ll go with the new Netflix show Midnight Gospel. It’s just like nothing I’ve seen before, and as odd as it may sound, it’s sort of like listening to a podcast while watching Rick and Morty. Each episode explores an esoteric theme through interviews with experts within their field. I gave it a 9/10 on Friendspire and really enjoyed it!
Markus: Well, in that case, I think I’ll recommend a book. I just finished The Spy and the Traitor by Ben Macintyre. It’s a relatively easy read and based on a true story, a genre which I quite enjoy. It follows a Russian spy who turns double-agent for England during the cold war, and it will keep you at the edge of your seat throughout. Highly recommend it. I think I gave that a 9/10 as well!
Good luck with Friendspire, and looking forward to taking the app for a spin!