Startups: Sonar

By Saturday, December 31, 2011 0 No tags Permalink

Product Description:

While you’re out in a public space, Sonar attempts to answer the question “Who do I know here?” Once a user checks-in, Sonar displays a list of all users that have checked-in to the same venue as well as any shared connections you have with them via Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and LinkedIn.

Description on iTunes: “Sonar uses publicly available profile information to help you discover the connections you share with people nearby. Sonar lets you take your online identity offline and meet real people in real life.”

The Goods:

  • Displays people with shared connections/interests on top of the list
  • Currently integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare
  • Good sorting on homepage, displays venues by “What’s hot” on top, then what’s “Nearby” so users have higher chances of finding people with connections in common
  • Displays an interesting quote while it loads check-in results so users are not staring at an empty screen, see image on the left below


VERY thorough Twitter integration, features include:

  • Once connected to Twitter, you can view other users’ twitter feeds, see what interests you share (if any), say “Hi” to them by sending them a tweet via Sonar
  • You can start following other users on Twitter via Sonar
  • For those who don’t know what to say but want to strike up a conversation with other users, Sonar has preset messages for you to use, see image below on the left
  • Displays “You both follow” and “You both are followed by”, see image below on the right


Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn integration features:

  • Shows you list of shared friends and connections
  • For LinkedIn, even if you don’t share any connections, you can still “Check out LinkedIn profile”, the screen only displays their Current Positions

The Not-So-Goods:

  • Doesn’t provide enough reason for people to “ping” each other
  • Need to provide filter/sort options for displaying people who have checked-in: it could be # of friends in common, last check-in time, M/F, age group, etc.
  • Cannot see what your own profile looks like when you check-in on Sonar

Proposals for P2:

  • Provide ability to contact those checked-in even-though you do not have connections/friends/interests in common
  • Provide incentives for users to check-in. For example, Foursquare gives users badges for check-ins.
  • Could do better integration for Facebook & Foursquare: currently only shows friends in common from those 2 sites, no profile information, etc.

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