Food and restaurant guide Zomato Gets a Social Makeover

Food and restaurant guide Zomato just got a lot more fun: it is now a complete social network for foodies. Users of Zomato can now find out which restaurants and places to eat at their friends on social networks recommend.

Tapping into Social Networking

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Zomato will present restaurants that your friends have reviewed, rated or been at the next time you look for a place to eat. The information will be populated with data from your Facebook friend list.

Another major change is that the site has now shifted to a ‘log-in’ only service. Users can log-in via Google, Facebook or any other e-mail provider. The site promises not to post anything on the social networking feeds to which it has access.

It also auto-imports your Facebook profile picture and other details with the log-in.

Zomato has also added a ‘FoodFeed’ similar to the Facebook News Feed that allows users to view updates from their network of friends on restaurants reviewed, rated or visited.

Another useful feature is the ‘Suggested Foodies to Follow’ that Zomato auto-recommends to users.

Food Guide Gamification

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Zomato has also gamified the platform with the addition of points for every review, photos added, likes received etc. Depending on this, a user becomes either level 1 foodie, or level 13 – the highest level of ‘Foodie’ a person can be.

It then puts up a leaderboard that ranks the level of foodie you are within your social network, as well as within your city.

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There’s a whole other list of rules to be kept in mind while climbing up the leaderboard. Read them here.

Other changes announced include,

  • Normalising of restaurant rating to prevent clustering of restaurants of a single range

  • Tweaks to the search algorithm to throw up more relevant results

  • Find and invite friends from other social networks

Overall, the redesign is pretty useful. I found about a dozen of my network on the portal who had given reviews on various restaurants. And probably true to what Zomato sought to achieve, I tend to trust the reviews from people on my network over those of strangers.

But, this only works for as long someone from your network chanced upon a restaurant you want to visit, and reviewed the place.

The leadership board and gamification is another interesting concept from Zomato.

Zomato had last raised funding from Sequoia and Info Edge in November 2013. Started in 2008, the restaurant discovery guide provides in-depth information on over 2 million restaurants across 12 countries.

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