Sunday, May 15, 2011

Foodspotting phenomenon is the photo of the food-network

For anyone who loves good food, the first impact can induce salivation powerful, almost to the point of Pavlovian. You start the application on your smartphone, press a button and within seconds the little map on the screen is filled with photos. All snapshots of food, in all its forms. Italian pasta dishes, grilled meats, Asian cuisine, street food, pizza.

A lot of pizza. If the world were fork, Cecco Angiolieri sing, this would be his pornography. In reality it is only the last frontier of social networks. Foodspotting, in English, means something like "spot the food." And the eponymous social network, dedicated to the owners of smartphones with a passion for cooking, does exactly that: to see the food.

But most of all to photograph at any restaurant, pizzeria, snack kiosk or the globe, and share online, ready to be voted, commented and, ultimately, salivation by other users. The idea of Foodspotting is not unlike that of the latest social network cameras, as Instagram, or Piczl Path. But if you share photos on Instagram artistic Foodspotting on the theme is the exclusive food.

The application, which has just celebrated a year of life, is available on the iPhone and Android, but will arrive too soon to BlackBerry. To date, relies on a database of over half a million photos, powered by a community of about 800,000 users on the iPhone only. And after the United States, began to spread in Italy.

The intuition is two guys from San Francisco, Ted Grubb and Alexa Andrzejewski, who built around food a real social experience, similar to that of Foursquare and Gowalla, social networking sites. Any food can be photographed, Geolocation and voted, indicating the quality with a special rosette.

Accumulating reports of dishes you can earn "badges" to be experienced to be shown off in your profile to gourmet. The quickest way to rise to fame is that instead of creating a thematic guide, to compile its own list of recommended foods and restaurants, that others will follow (literally) on the digital map.

And the who's who of haute cuisine seems to have picked up the call with taste, it is true that among the most popular guides there are already those of some famous magazines or internationally renowned chefs. Why is the food, after all, is primarily a question of loyalty. Social netfork.

Foodspotting, in reality, is only the first successful experiment in the field of food-photography community. But as with any new phenomenon on the rise, the competitors were not long in coming. Chewsy is the case, an application designed for smartphones in their free time by a small group of Microsoft employees, but has already collected a discrete community of fans in the United States.

Again the food photographer and shares, but unlike Foodspotting deepening prevails here. First, users are encouraged to write reviews more accurate, not to relegate the message to sending a photo. Each dish is also possible to assign a specific rating (one to five tablespoons), then even expressing negative opinions.

And history repeats itself. Only a few months ago, the digital universe had registered the boom Instagram, the social network of the photograph graced by more than one million subscribers after less than three months after launch. This success opened up the field to other competitors, as the ambitious Path (a social network deliberately restricted to close friends), the controversial Color (designed for sharing photos geographically) or the next ZangZing.

Now everything can be replicated in key restaurant. And the smartphone, it seems, are leaving the streets to sit at the table.

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