What do you get when you combine Sonar, Forecast and foursquare Explore? IAC’s new app for Android and iOS, Crowded Room. It’s designed to help you find and meet up with people who share similar interests.
Crowded Room pulls your interests from your Facebook profile and tries to match them up with other users to suggest people you might be interested in meeting. You can browse them under the people tab, but there doesn’t seem to be any location component considered since the ones it suggests for me are located in far away places. The app will show you some of your shared interests and if you have friends in common, but annoyingly, it won’t tell you who those friends are.
The real key is the “Go” button, where you can check in (to venues from foursquare’s database; sharing to foursquare is optional) and, more importantly, broadcast your plans for later. If you think you might head to a specific place later in the day, say a bar or restaurant, you can tell Crowded Room you “might go” there.
Crowded Room uses your interests and the “might go” information from other users to suggest places you should visit and people you should meet. A bar that’s expected to be hopping later with people with plenty of shared interests would obviously be your first choice if you’re interested in meeting like-minded people.
The concept is interesting. If you’re looking to meet new people, it offers a lot of promise, but only if IAC can interest lots of people in the app. It unfortunately suffers from a major chicken-and-egg problem. There is little (or in my case, no) content unless other users nearby are using the app. There’s no incentive to start using it on your own, so if you’re the only one in town using it, you’ll get nothing. Without a better experience for lone users, it will be a long uphill climb for Crowded Room.
What do you think of Crowded Room? How could they make it more appealing to new users?
After the jump: a video from Crowded Room explaining the app.