Facebook-ed Chalkboard App

Over the past few months, most consumers who followed some locations for the latest updates of Today’s Specials, found difficulty in knowing what locations they have followed. One reason is that Chalkboard has often focussed their development towards the small and medium businesses and not towards consumers. One of their engineers, Anuj Bheda brought up this interesting perspective that they need a common focal point to get the consumers to be able to know what is going on around them, and suggest building a Facebook app. The technology team, together with their designer Serge Baluyot, worked through the Christmas and New Year holidays, and finally, the new Chalkboard Facebook app are ready to be released.

The app allows people to find out what offers are nearby, all at one glance, where it acts as a one-stop shop for our users to find out what are today’s specials that are around them and what their friends have been viewing. As an example, one shares about freshly brewed coffee or newly imported beer on the app, and the app will accordingly decide where the best place to hang out would be.

On top of that, another good value of creating this app is to take advantage of the virility of social networks, which benefits both businesses and consumers on the Chalkboard network, which will increase the sharing and discovery of specials coming from their merchant partners and induce a form of virility that will help them attract more customers. A “follow” function is also created, to allow the consumers to discover new locations and engage with the small and medium businesses. With the “follow” function, the consumers are given the choice, to subscribe and get updates via email and Facebook on the latest Today’s Specials to the location of their choice. In addition, a “recommend” function is added as well, to allow any consumer to refer a location with an interesting Today’s Special to their peers. An activity feed is built as well, for the user to monitor what locations their friends are currently checking out. Even better, the app also allows one to recommend a merchant to his/her entire social network on Facebook as well.

As an example, if one likes a particular cafe, he/she can “follow” it within the app, which will alert he/she to any future updates the merchant posts on Chalkboard. And if he/she have Facebook friends who is also using the app, they will know that he/she have followed that particular café.

To make it better, since the app utilizes the geolocation capability on HTML5 browsers, they also built an additional function called “Change Location” where a user can change the location of where they are to see what might be there in another location of their choice. Particularly for older browsers which are not geo-location compliant, the function will be of help.

The Chalkboard app is an useful utility app to discover what is around you and engage with the businesses directly. The feedback from the consumers will be valuable to the businesses and help them to improve to serve their customers better.