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Burpple Focuses on Search and Discovery With Its Latest Update

Aulia Masna - 13 March 2013

Foodie app Burpple quietly released an update today which increased emphasis on discovery and search and introducing a revamped interface which rearranged the placements of some streams to align with the more focused purposes. The app's previous update, which came just over a month ago added the ability to blog about the food in a way that Instagram allows people to describe the photos they're about to post.

Version 1.3 came with absolutely no fanfare. In fact, it's as if the Burpple team didn't want people to know about the update. There's no blog entry and no press release unlike its previous major updates. It rolled quietly overnight into people's mobile devices. Speaking of blog entry, someone might want to tell Burpple that Posterous is shutting down next month. It's not a good idea to keep the blog there.

The new version renames the two middle tabs from Explore to Search and from Activity to Friends. The Friends tab incorporates Find Friends and Notifications. Find Friends is split into two sections, adding friends via Contacts, nearby finds, and existing connections on Facebook, Twitter, and WeChat, and a suggested user list with four thumbnails of their recent photos.

The Notifications section which used to occupy that spot on its own gets bumped off the default view. Whenever you open the Friends tab, it will default to Find Friends instead and there doesn't seem to be a way to change this behavior. This pretty much suggests that Burpple wants its members to add as many people as possible to their following list.

The Search tab displays a list of ten trending keywords. If location services feature isn't enabled, the list will show the global trending list with a message to remind you to enable the feature to allow it to show more relevant results. This is why the trending list on my SIM-card powered iPad mini shows Nasi, Kambing, Goreng, Uduk, Monsieur, Croque, Cheese – interesting mix if anyone were to come up with that actual combination – whereas the iPod touch shows Bacolod, Greens, Teriyaki, Pepper, 3rd, Roasted, Minhapizza.

Nearby food and Featured posts have been moved to the Feed tab, likely placed together due to the similar way they are displayed in the app. Featured content are collections of curated posts according to particular categories. At the moment, it's Popular, Brunch, and Coffee.

It's curious to see this major redesign in the app but perhaps Burpple wants to increase user activities and engagements as well as get members to interact with each other. Placing friend finding feature as priority is one clear move towards that direction. Additionally the Explore tab which used to house Nearby and Featured posts were probably not getting as much action, so they moved it to the much more active Feed tab.

Food photography is obviously popular and there was a story on Guardian about a Spanish restaurant that went so far as to hold food photography classes to ensure that photos of the food at the establishment come out looking nice and pretty. After all, people who share food photos from restaurants effectively promote the place and they might as well make the photos look good.

Of course, there are restaurants that ban food photography as it's considered rude by some people and may disturb other patrons, but at the moment, the jury is still out on this relatively new phenomenon. Someone could probably do a study on the effects of food photography to the popularity of the particular food in general and the places that serve them.

For Burpple members and fans in Jakarta, there will be a private meet up on the 16th of March in North Jakarta which is limited to 20 people. Unfortunately we won't be able to attend, but if you happen to be attending, do let us know via the comment section below and tell us how it went.

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