Review platforms. While they serve a purpose to a large proportion of the population, if you are reading this… chances are they are not for you. Why aren’t they for you? Probably some of the following reasons:
1 – Unreasonable self-importance.
Nobody cares that Karen’s Starbucks coffee was “too hot” or Sandra’s visit to the beach was ruined by “too much sand” (no shit – an actual review 😂). Review platforms encourage users to enter into the realm of a critic. But lets be honest, a critic is trusted as a critic because they provide critique. The self-important tone of so many reviews (both good and bad) show how ridiculous people can be. People genuinely believe they are providing a service to the community by complaining about absolutely anything. South Park provided a beyond-fantastic example of this problem through their episode “you’re not yelping”. If you haven’t seen it, watch it (scarily accurate & funny AF).
2 – Trusted By Who?
So why are there over 115 TripAdvisor contributions each minute? It cant be because of that “reviews you can trust” spiel can it? They themselves had in 2014 blacklisted 30 accommodation providers for manufacturing and bribing reviewers. KwikChex.com compiled a group of 700 accommodation providers who, in 2010 filed lawsuits against the defamatory nature of false reviews & how TripAdvisor not only allowed them, but provided a platform from which customers were able to blackmail business owners!
3 – Individual Relevance
How can a review platform possibly tell you to trust something, when they know nothing about you as an individual? How can your perception of something be slotted into a scale and be representative of my thoughts on a place? It cant. Its so simple it hurts. Yeah you can see how Sandra/Karen enjoyed their experience with a place (as well as the opinions of all the other Sandra’s out there), but Sandra don’t know shit about you. Where Sandra rates a high-tea with her gals a 5, you would rather stick toothpicks in your eyeballs than eat a scone while sitting on a floral chair.
You’re a scoundrel that enjoys dive-bars, craft beers & average live music. But that doesn’t appear on TripAdvisor does it? Not on the first page at least. Relevance is the issue here. What is good to one person, isn’t good to another, so don’t try to scale everything on a rating system – IT DOESN’T WORK.
4 – What about the business?
We have established that review platforms aren’t as helpful as they are purported to be for the user. What we haven’t touched on is the potential damage they do to companies. We spoke of the never-ending list of lawsuits surrounding defamation and libel, but how about looking at the business model of a review platform (a generalization across the board). Pretty simple really… Platform allows users to comment/rate a business > platform makes business pay exorbitant subscriptions to be promoted higher on listings > platform then charges obscene commissions on anything booked through their services > platform cashes cheques, while business makes three fifths of f^*k all.
So as a business owner, why not just ignore the platforms and not worry? Because the sad reality is that unless you are one of the major established businesses within your area, you need the hits online to drive more custom in the door. There have also been massive allegations made against Yelp (et al.), allegations which highlight Yelp’s “review filtering” process (nobody has any idea of what exactly this process involves). Basically, if you aren’t a yelp subscriber, your business is much more likely to display negative ratings with more priority (and coincidentally?, you seem to generate far more fake reviews than a paying business). Doesn’t this just seem a little too close to Mob tactics? Pay us money or bad things will happen to you…
We could keep going with this, but you should get the gist by now. What started as organic suggestion & recommendation has become over-commercialized and driven by profit (not user/business experience). These problems have been pivotal in the creation of breadcrumbs. We want to provide a platform which allows:
– Social Sharing (not reviews)
– Community filtering & voting (not bribery & false information)
– Interest-based communities (not a one-size fits all approach)
– Positive environment for a business to connect with users (not bullying tactics forcing the hand of a business)
We understand our users because we are our users. We know the pain points & the problems we are solving because we have experienced them ourselves. If breadcrumbs sounds like it could be for you… Sign up for our closed-beta below: