Generations are unique from one another, coming together only in the sense that technology has built the foundation for today’s society. The Internet generation, Generation Z, may soon see just how strong that foundation is.
Technological advances are made day in and day out that keep App Developers on their toes, while App Founders are simultaneously being challenged to outsmart the competition. Entrepreneur Bree Goldstein founded UpDog, which is an app that takes the traditional method of online reviewing and molds it into one that appeals to an on-the-go market.
It all began when Goldstein posed a question to her students; she asked if their generation wasn’t using Yelp to write reviews, where could they possibly be getting their information. The answers generally consisted of: posts on Vine or YouTube, comments and videos on Instagram or video stories on Snapchat.
“We found that 95 percent of Millenials trust their friends as credible sources for product and business reviews,” Goldstein said.
Discovering the power that social media held on the newer generations was key to the success of Goldstein’s idea. Millenials prefer streamlined mobile apps that have one purpose and are easily accessible rather than bulky websites. UpDog allows consumers to review a business, location, or event with a simple 15-second video. It provides a platform that relates specifically to your current geographic location and the three miles surrounding it.
“I use social media very often and I would definitely use [UpDog] before I would ever use Yelp,” Lindsey LaPierre said. “I think Yelp is geared more towards an older generation.”
In addition to streamlining the review process, Goldstein’s creation solves another major issue in the industry – fictitious accounts and false reviews. UpDog syncs with users’ Facebook profiles to help minimize these occurrences.
“The whole goal is to bring transparency and trust back to the review industry,” she said. “When I moved here, I didn’t have a network, I didn’t know a single person … I started looking for doctors and I couldn’t trust any of the reviews.”
As a results-driven, public relations specialist, Goldstein founded an agency called Publicly Related. That experience gave her the knowledge to know insider tricks of the trade including how to get great testimonials and positive reviews to boost business rankings. It also gave her trust issues industry-wide.
“I rarely take online reviews seriously because I think many of them are created by business owners to make their business look better,” Brooke Gunlock said.
With any new development, there are positive and negative outcomes. Although UpDog has seen a fairly good amount of success in the three weeks since it was released, some concerns have come about. One of the biggest being that the app’s competition consists of very large, multimillion-dollar companies; companies they are facing head on from a bootstrapped, out-of-pocket, debt-free start up.
“My biggest concern is that people won’t use it,” Goldstein admitted. “… We’re on every continent other than Antarctica … We’ve had great traction.”
From the U.S. to China, UpDog will soon be taking the world by storm, even if it requires being downloaded illegally in countries where Facebook and Google have been banned. 1,123 users have downloaded the app worldwide between September 19 and October 6. The number can go only up from there, so Goldstein’s concern is one of little importance at this time.
Another concern for the newly launched app is that users may be easily confused as to which app they should be downloading. UpDog: Easy Video Reviews, is currently available on the Apple App Store, right above UpDog: Upvote Your World. Once the minor App Store confusion is cleared up, the new app will be making waves locally and globally.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how much a video can do. Keep your eyes and ears open; UpDog video reviews may just be the next big thing.