Remember those blue map pin signs that were popping up all over Maplewood two years ago?
Well, they’re coming back.
WhoWeUse, which debuted in beta locally back in fall 2014, has now launched as “the first social on demand app for local services.”
WhoWeUse is available in New Jersey on Apple’s iOS platform. An Android version is coming later this fall.
Starting today, people in New Jersey can use the WhoWeUse app to find and connect with “plumbers, painters, physicians and many other trusted local services, helping them to improve their quality of life and maintain their homes,” according to a release.
The aim is to help consumers find and hire the best local services through recommendations from friends and neighbors.
“WhoWeUse melds on-demand and social networking to create a unique experience centered on service requests and recommendations from your friends and neighbors,” said co-founder and CEO — and long-time Maplewood resident — John Garbarino.
WhoWeUse is the brainchild of Garbarino, who founded the company with Pete Clark and with another Maplewoodian — WhoWeUse President Spencer Ante, who lives just down the street from Garbarino. Yet another Maplewood resident, Felix Sockwell, is involved as Head of Brand.
How does the app work?
Let’s let WhoWeUse explain through their launch press release: “After a user requests a service, WhoWeUse connects them with a list of the most recommended services across their social network for the requested category, while also allowing their friends to respond to the request. Users can also choose to be contacted directly by the most recommended services (without giving up their contact info) to get quotes or more information.
“Following a simple registration, WhoWeUse members can upload and share approved local business contact information from their address books, allowing their friends and neighbors to easily see recommendations for the most popular services they use. Members can also add new services, as well as share reviews and photos from the experience. Unlike an email listserv, Facebook groups or other online groups, recommendations from friends and neighbors are organized by category, ranked by popularity and archived for easy, future reference.”
“We help people to quickly make a well-informed decision and fix their problem, instead of getting recommendations from strangers,” said CTO and co-founder Pete Clark.
Although Maplewood and other New Jersey suburbs are at the center of today’s launch, the company is preparing for a wider national roll-out later this year in other major cities and their surrounding suburbs.
But Maplewood will always be at the heart of WhoWeUse.
The Maplewood-centric pilot proved the value of WhoWeUse: The first few thousand users of the app shared nearly 10,000 unique businesses, and entered hundreds of requests and recommendations. “The public beta validated that WhoWeUse’s mobile-first technology allows people to easily share and organize word-of-mouth recommendations, while helping local businesses to optimize their best source of new business,” said Ante.
And Maplewood is in the DNA of WhoWeUse on a more personal level:
“As suburban dads, we’re trying to solve a problem that we encounter in our everyday lives that has yet to be solved by existing solutions,” added Ante.