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Social networking sites and mobile apps like Yelp and Foursquare make it extremely easy for us as consumers to search for local cafés, restaurants, automobile repair shops, specialty clothing stores, and the like. We can also use resources like Apple’s iTunes to rate and comment on computer and mobile applications.
Two new iPhone apps have emerged to provide their own unique approach for rating and recommending stuff we like and don’t like. Unlike Yelp, the new Oink is set up for users to not only rate places but also the items inside those places. Kinetik, on the other hand, is a Twitter-supported app for recommending apps you like to your social network followers.
How the Oink Social Network Recommendation System Works
Oink is a pretty well-designed iOS app that invites you to rate and comment on products and services in places and businesses you have visited. The main menu of this app starts you off with popular places near your current location.
You can of course search for particular items and businesses within a specified location radius, but unless someone has used Oink to rate an item you’re looking for, the app may not be of much use in this area. You will probably have better luck using the Discover menu which displays items and businesses that have already been rated by Oink users.
You can discover items from 1 mile to 100 miles of your location. Or if you’re a world traveler, you can request a global search of rated items. A 5 mile discovery in my area revealed items ranging from Wonton with BBQ pork and egg noodles, to free tire rotation at America’s Tire Company.
Oink users are encouraged to photograph and tag the items they rate and review.
You can also use your personal contacts, and Twitter and Facebook connections to see who else is using Oink. There is also a list of suggested users to follow consisting of popular bloggers, writers, developers, and social media experts.
The best way to get the most out of Oink is to dive in and rate stuff you are using. Items are not limited to places you visit. Many users comment on computer software, games, and entertainment shows. In fact, the success of Oink will depend upon large and wide user activity.
Rating Apps With Kinetik
Kinetik is similar to Oink, but has narrowed its niche to recommending iOS apps. Although there are a plethora of iTunes Store apps to choose from, sometimes our friends and social networking followers can recommend apps we’ve never heard of.
Kinetik works in connection with Twitter to see what apps your contacts and followers are recommending. There is also a updating list of “Trending” apps, as well as apps listed by categories – including finance, productivity, navigation, news, games, travel, and utilities.
Sharing apps you recommend is similar to posting tweets on Twitter. You simply do a search for your app and then write a 140 word or less comment or review about the selected program. You can post your recommendation on both your Twitter and Facebook account, or simply post it on Kinetik.
You can discover contacts on Kinetik, which includes a list of users who share your same interests, or people who are the most active users of the app.
If you come across an app you like, Kinetik can link you to it in the iTunes store.
What makes Kinetik somewhat different from the user ratings and comments in the iTunes Store is that Kinetik users are sharing and recommending apps they like. So depending on who your followers are, you may very well discover some useful programs for your iOS devices.
I should add though that some users have complained that Kinetik doesn’t provide a way to edit reviews you post on your activities list. I experienced this problem when I tried to post my first review. I accidentally tapped the share button before I had a chance to finish writing my comment. There is no way to delete your comment once its posted.
Let us know what you think of Oink and Kinetik, and similar apps you use for rating and recommending stuff you like.