Introducing Burpple: The Smart (and Stylish) Food Journal App For Your Epicurean Adventures

INTERPRETATIONS OF SOCIAL FOOD SHARING are not in short supply these days. At its core, these apps revolve around food, community, and mobile. But different apps offer different experiential values.

Foodspotting is good for social discovery of dishes around you and acts like a food guide. Fondu focuses more on eateries’ reviews. Chewsy allows you to rate restaurant and its dishes. Ness recommend you restaurants through its personal search engine, based on your profile. Forkly adds gamification to social food sharing, by allowing users to earn influence points and become tastemaker at a particular venue. DishPal tries to pack features like photo styling and virtual potluck (a’la Pinwheel) to set itself apart.

For new social food sharing app Burpple, the abandonment of complexity seems to be a primary goal.

When one shares a picture of dish, Burpple automatically extract data from the photo and make them ready to post. This way, the user don’t need to remember the date when the picture was taken and whether he had eaten the dish for breakfast or dinner. With geotagged photos, Burpple can intuitively display a list of possible venues for the user to select (tapping into foursquare database.) In addition, posting picture with the app is squeaky fast. The combination of these little features makes it an addictively pleasant iPhone app and offers a different concoction of social food sharing.

“Burpple bridges food cultures around the world and people enjoy communicating over food. Burpple is experiencing something very similar to global social networks like Instagram and Pinterest which transcends cultures and geographical boundaries,” according to Burpple co-founder Elisha Ong (who was also the former Lead Designer at mobile video startup Qik.)

Burpple allows users to organize pictures of their food into boxes. Boxes are like Boards on Pinterest. User can customize the theme for each box i.e. Must Try, Asian Food, etc. There is no limit in the number of boxes a user can create. On Pinterest, you repins others’ pictures and photos to your Boards. On Burpple, you reburp food pictures of your friends into your Boxes.

In Timeline mode, your food postings are ordered by date/time. Friends can comment on your food postings. Each food post carries a description, Google Maps panel to show location of eatery, and an unique URL (to share with friends who are not on Twitter and Facebook.) You can also easily share food moments on your Twitter and Facebook (yes, Burrple posts big, beautiful food pictures on Timeline.)

The Burpple app, developed by a Singaporean start-up, is conceived as a journal, designed to capture and share your epicurean moments. It is surprisingly addictive, partly because of its intuitive features, mostly because of its growing collection of mouthwatering iPhoneography. And journal as a product concept is palatable, which eases the learning curve for users. Burpple skillfully blends well-crafted features, enjoyable interface, and community curation, which makes the app such a delicious treat.

The Burps Growth

“One in four smartphone users in the world take pictures of their meals everyday. These photos that would potentially tell great gastronomical adventures are often left dormant in our smartphones or get drowned out on generic social media. Burpple aims to solve that,” said Dixon Chan, co-founder of Burpple.

During the few weeks of open beta, Burpple saw similar early stage user activity as popular mobile photo-sharing app, Instagram – 15% of registered users uploaded more than 10 food moments, of which 35% of them uploaded more than 50 food moments. Users come from more than 39 countries. Other than casual users, the app also attracts food bloggers, restaurateurs, and chefs who use the app to showcase their food moments.

On the marketing front, Burpple created a snazzy “How to Order Kopi like a Pro” infographic guide (see below), which details the makeup of local coffee and its variations. The infographic went viral and estimated to reach some 2 million viewers since November 2011. A sequel is the Help Kopi Goes Overseas campaign, which is a fun and quirky way to connect and promote Southeast Asian coffee and food culture to the rest of the world.

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