September 9, 2015

Foodworthy App is Not So Worthy. At Least, Not Yet…

What is it?

Foodworthy, a photo-based food rating app on iOS devices, has finally launched. The app encourages users to share their restaurant experiences by posting pictures of their food and reviewing these particular meals. Structured like Instagram, Foodworthy’s competition would be services such as Yelp, although I can taste a hint of Foursquare in the way the app encourages users to review specific meals at restaurants. However, as a user, you aren’t given the opportunity to rate restaurants. Instead, the focus of Foodworthy is to encourage users to take pictures of food.

What does it actually look like? 

photo_1 photo_3

photo_5 photo_4

How does it work?

The feed on Foodworthy’s home page works as an Instagram feed would, showcasing the most recent posts first and allowing you to scroll down to view the older ones. Additionally, the feed is categorized into three sections: “new,” “hot” and “following,” which you can access by side-scrolling on the page containing your feed. You are also able to filter through your feed based on location, distance, price and hours. The app also provides an extensive list of ready-made filters, including “gluten free options,” “low-fat options,” “vegan options” and many more.

Each post includes a price point, a picture of the specific meal and the name and location of the restaurant from where it was purchased, which is geo-tagged and included in the app’s database (where you can search for a restaurant’s information). As a user of the app, you are encouraged to like and comment on posts. And your profile displays the ones you choose to engage with, as well as your own posts.

Assessment:

Foodworthy seems to be a response to “food porn” and food selfie trends, which means it caters most heavily to millennial mobile users. In this SocialTimes article, Josh Bernfeld, co-founder and CEO of Foodworthy, says, “Younger generations are increasingly visual. We have found that people overwhelmingly prefer a good photo with a concise review to a long, opinionated written review. Knowing this, we have produced a powerful app that both users and restaurants love.”

Seems to me like Bernfeld is directly referring to Yelp, with its long-winded reviews and well-known tendency to displease restaurant owners. I guess this explains why the app looks and functions similar to Instagram, the premier photo-based app and most popular social media platform for millennials and youth. Yet, the app doesn’t allow you to edit the pictures of food before posting, which contradicts Bernfeld’s vision for the app as a platform for good photos and concise reviews. Ultimately, my user experience of the app only highlighted the app’s failures.

In other words, this app seems to ask more questions than it answers. Just when you think you are about ready to post, you ask yourself, is the picture of this amazing meal in my camera roll worthy of being posted, shared and talked about? How much content and engagement will my visual of a very specific meal generate? Not to mention that Foodworthy doesn’t even allow you to rate your meal before providing a review and sharing it with others!

In sum, it’s as if this app dishes up more social anxiety than good social media. If I were you, I’d start using Foursquare’s gamifying Swarm app, which at least rewards you with coins upon each check-in and encourages you to not only post photos of meals, but also rate and review restaurants, as well as provide your friends with tips. At least then your appetite for fun and rewarding social engagement may be satisfied…

This post was written by current Renegade intern Sam Oriach.