In the information age, discovery is a profitable trade. Google even built its fortune on discovering new and relevant info. As everyone and their mother begins sharing everything about their lives online, startups and large corporations alike have a new source of data to pull from. Enter Likes!, an app that uses things your friends and family have liked on Facebook to help you discover restaurants, movies, events, and more.
The app is a great concept. In theory it would show you all the cool places your friends know of. Your friends are probably a better judge of what's cool around town than a search engine, right? Well, after running through a few lists, the answer to that question is a resounding "maybe". While Likes! worked pretty well for some things, your results are only as good as your friends' tastes.
Your mileage will vary. I tend to keep my Facebook friends pretty sparse. I only accept friend requests from people I know sufficiently well. The effect here is that people I'm friends with tend to like the things I like. On a list of top movies, for example, nine of the top ten are movies I've already seen and like.
Using "likes" for data also results in data getting improperly classified on occasion. For example, the number one bar on a list of top bars my friends like is "Meowing back at a cat when it meows at you." On a list of top people, my friends have ranked Megan Fox, Dr. House and the Fresh Prince higher than God, who only narrowly beats out Adam Sandler. And I live in a red state.
Still, Likes! is useful for finding the occasional restaurant, bar, or event in your area that some of your friends might like, but that they haven't told you about yet.