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Atly, the user-generated social mapping platform revolutionizing location-based knowledge sharing, today introduced its new Follow Your Friends feature. The tool allows Atly users to follow their friends within the app, automatically surfacing their recommended points of interest alongside the number of recommendations each location has on an Atly map. By allowing users to directly follow their friends and contacts and showcasing their recommendations, Atly is tapping into social trust to add a layer of confidence into the process of discovering new and exciting locations, from coffee shops to hiking trails.

Reviews have a trust problem. Belief in their authenticity has been degraded as 30-40% of reviews have been proven to be fabricated and many more are aggregated from random users who don’t necessarily share a user’s interests. Furthermore, users are forced to sift through endless reviews and destinations before discovering exactly what they are looking for and algorithms prioritize locations with the highest overall ratings rather than by their relevance to a user’s specific needs.

Follow Your Friends looks to remedy this by featuring locations recommended by a user’s personal contacts, supplementing Atly’s unique approach to connecting users with relevant and specific points of interest via the wisdom of the crowd. The feature showcases locations friends have liked, adding their pictures to the location pin on the map, marking that this is a place they personally recommend. The friend’s photo is included alongside the number of recommendations the location received from Atly users overall, allowing users to weigh both layers of trustworthy data. In doing so, Atly is leveraging the benefits of crowdsourced information for the best locations specifically based on an individual’s interest, while augmenting users’ confidence by reflecting their friends’ feedback on the various points of interest they’ve reviewed.

“We are literally putting trust on the map,” said Joshua Kaufman, Co-Founder of Atly. “Recommendations from a friend, while fewer and farther between, are worth ten times the word of a stranger on the internet. By flagging personal friends’ specific insights alongside the wisdom of the crowd, we are compounding users’ confidence that they’re honing in on the best places to go, whether they’re looking for board game shops or gluten free bakeries. The power of the collective ensures a broad range of diverse recommendations, but your social ties are the fastest and surest route to finding specific and relevant recommendations that you’ll enjoy.”

“Friend’s recommendations are a highly valuable source of information, on and offline, for finding the specific places and experiences we desire,” said Uriel Maslansky, CEO and Co-Founder of Atly. “Recognizing the inherent trust that is built into these relationships, recommendations from those in our personal lives carry added certainty. As a platform, we seek out our users’ insights and feedback in order to build a user experience that is personalized and trustworthy, and this new feature grew organically from user requests, resulting in the digitization of an additional layer of user confidence.”