You’re almost definitely familiar with Yelp, the service that allows users to review local businesses. Yelp has risen in prominence a lot over the past few years, appearing in TV spots, having integration with Google searches, and making headlines more than once.
Well, there’s a new contender on the scene, one with an interesting twist: The Next Hotspot.
This is a little bit about how it works:
Despite the comparison to Yelp up above, it’s not entirely fair to compare it and The Next Hotspot.
The main difference is that on Yelp you don’t get paid for reviews, but with The Next Hotspot you do (at least for now).
The Next Hotspot is a hybrid review/social media app that is dedicated to helping you meet anonymous people within a certain demographic, and this pairs into the review function.
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Seem a little hard to imagine?
The way it functions is that you sign up with an alias and a demographic. So you input your username, and you tell it your age/sex. After that, you choose what demographic of people you’re interested in meeting, their age/sex, and it performs a search in your area for people who match that description.
I downloaded the app myself and gave it a try, but it didn’t give any results due to the size of the userbase.
Getting paid to rate local businesses
To help grow the userbase, The Next Hotspot adopted the strategy of other apps that pay users, so they’re offering a small cash incentive for giving reviews of businesses in your town, or “hotspots,” as they call them.
The way you do this is by going down to the business (it will make sure you’re there via your phone’s GPS) and posting a quick review.
The business has to be in the database for The Next Hotspot, so sadly, your local indie coffee place isn’t going to be available.
Reviews can be done pretty quickly, so if you’re at a mall of something, you can easily knock out quite a few in an hour’s time.
Here’s where it starts to differ from Yelp:
The review will only remain on the app for a couple of hours after you post it. So it’s not a business review site, per se, but rather a social media app that uses reviews to alert people to when there are other users in their area.
You could call it something like a “Snapchat review” service.
The intention of the temporary review is to ensure that you’re getting an up-to-date look at your local hotspots. (Is the club crowded tonight? Empty?)
When you’re inputting your “desired demographic” information, it will default to searching for people of the opposite sex. That seems to give the impression that this is something of a discreet dating app, but that isn’t how it needs to be used. The cash reward and the incentive are more than enough to attract a wide userbase, and depending on who is in your area, you might even meet other people who are out doing reviews!
It’s not exactly limited to businesses, either. There have been reports of people submitting reviews for apartment buildings and hotels, even.
Reviewing & getting paid over and over?
Here is where it gets interesting; Since the reviews “decay” after two hours, you’re allowed to go back and review them again, for another cash reward! (How cool is that?)
That means if you’re hanging out at the mall, you can hit every store with a review, stop for a bite to eat, and then go back and do it again!
As it stands currently, there is also a small bonus for the top reviewers of the week.
This app is very new and it’s still finding its niche, but it shows some interesting potential.
The meetup functions and the cash rewards make it seem like it is an excellent option for college students, or people who live in a large town.
Of course, you’ll need to have a smart phone with data access, but that’s not hard for most people to provide nowadays.