Is the world’s most valuable information contained within the Social Web? While traditional media outlets, librarians and other curators of knowledge might disagree with this point of view, the people behind the Spindle mobile app are convinced of it. “Collectively, people share a stream of updates that can satisfy any interest or inform any decision.” This is the underlying premise of the Spindle mobile app that aims to be the discovery engine of the social web. In their own words, “Spindle will surprise you with interesting and actionable social content, delivering it when and where it can help you the most.” In a world of Foursquare, Twitter, Instagram and the like, the Spindle people say that social discovery needs to be re-imagined, and by extension they’re most likely the ones with the better imagination.
So what is Spindle? Install the app on your smartphone and open it say, when you walking on a street. It pulls up information about nearby restaurants, shops and points of interest. Okay, you might say, plenty of apps already do that. Ah well, Spindle does more. It sucks up information from retailers’ Twitter pages and other social media. It tells you who’s offering cheap eats – right now. The app updates information throughout the day so that breakfast foods are shared early in the morning, lunch specials at midday and spa openings after work. Perhaps at 2 a.m. it shows nearby cabs – but don’t quote us on that. You can choose filters such as shopping and nightlife but it isn’t clear if there is a filter for available babysitters to go with say, nightlife. Just when we thought everything on the social web had already been done, Spindle wants us to know there’s more.