Thursday Nov 15, 2012 by Susan Johnston - Contributor, VentureFizz
Today, social discovery app Spindle graduates out of its preview, which launched in August, and releases several updated features. The iPhone app integrates with Twitter and Facebook, helping users in the greater Boston or San Francisco Bay area discover social content from nearby restaurants, bars, museums, and other businesses. According to cofounder and CEO Pat Kinsel, “we want to help people find great content in real time with unique relevance.”
Based in Boston’s Fort Point, Spindle has raised $2.3M in funding. Investors include Polaris Venture Partners, Atlas Venture, Greylock Partners, Lerer Ventures, SV Angel, Broad Beach Ventures, Project 11, Ray Ozzie, and Raman Narayanan.
Among the new features is the ability to search for a specific place by name rather than scrolling through a feed of nearby places. Searching by place brings up not only updates from the business but updates about the business.
“With place search, we can now answer the question of what’s happening at a particular place,” says Kinsel. “You might want to go to a restaurant and if you search for it on Spindle, you might see an update on Twitter saying the line is really long. Spindle could help you decide what you do and don’t want to do.”
Simplified sharing is another new feature, allowing users to press a button indicating “I’m going” or “I’m here.” Users can now share posts privately via email or SMS, too. The new release also includes user profiles, a redesigned menu, streamlined signup process, and an improved location selector.
Now that Spindle is out of preview, user acquisition will become a greater focus for the 11-person team. While Spindle’s user base is still relatively small, Kinsel says repeat engagement is good. “What we’re seeing from people who installed it is they use it and they do find it useful,” he says. Going forward, they also plan to add new cities in a few weeks and, once they’ve honed the user experience, they will launch on other platforms, adds Kinsel.