Rfave Gives Local Recommendations Based on Strangers With Similar Facebook Likes

Rfave is a Facebook Connect-integrated website that aims to use your Facebook profile to match you with potential restaurants, dentists, mechanics and other services in your local area.

Unlike Yelp, which shows people what is generally popular, or what their friends prefer, RFave’s creators Erin and Trey Bean wanted to recommend services that are popular amongst people with similar Likes and interests. Your friends might not have the same preferences as you, but Rfave can give recommendations from people who align with user on choices such as Macs or PCs, beer or wine, or hamburgers versus veggie burgers.

To date, Facebook Connect has been used more for displaying the Likes and actions of one friend to another, rather than creating more holistic recommendations engines. Rfave could be especially useful to those with a rich profile of interests but few friends, or those who’s interests differ sharply from their friends.

Rfave allows you to quickly and easily make your own recommendations in dozens of categories. Adding a category is relatively simple and the site uses Google to find businesses near you. The service is available in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, San Antonio, Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., London, and many more.

Rfave is intuitive, but perhaps because the site is still in beta and hasn’t built up a large user base, it’s not particularly practical. In places like Los Angles, where there are simply more people, there were more recommendations available, but in a city like San Antonio with many less millions of people, almost none of the categories contained recommendations. Adding your own recommendations to your profile ends up increasing the number of suggestions significantly, as even the Los Angeles entries were pretty bare.

Yelp, TripAdvisor and other similar recommendation services could do well to create similar Facebook-enabled recommendations, as the gist of Rfave makes a lot of sense. People want to be able to choose services not strictly based on geography, ratings, or friends, but by a socially-enabled mix of them.

The company has a Facebook app Page, but could probably do more to promote itself utilizing a Page. This would allow Rfave to build its community and fill out their inventory of recommendations.