OpenTable Buys Foodspotting App, Foregrounding Food Porn Photos

The online reservations giant plans to get to diners' hearts through their eyes. And it only cost them $10 million.

OpenTable, the online restaurant reservations service, has agreed to acquire the three-year-old Foodspotting for $10 million in cash. Foodspotting's app lets foodies share photos of the best dishes they try at restaurants, and those photos have been working their way into OpenTable listings through a recent partnership.

OpenTable has been very clear about its plans to become an indispensable tool for diners beyond the table-booking process it's known for. Though Foodspotting isn't shutting down its app or website, the team will play a prominent role in developing future OpenTable mobile and web products designed for all points in the dining experience, Foodspotting CEO Alexa Andrzejewski says. That could include everything from a beefed-up discovery engine for finding new restaurants to a mobile dining journal where you could save restaurant information and dish photos after a great meal.

Drawing from its wealth of data, OpenTable already knows where its users like to eat and how much they spend, but CEO Matt Roberts says it will use photos and friend data more heavily to make smart recommendations for what you'll want to eat in the future.

"It’s a good discovery service, but we want it to be an amazing discovery service," Roberts says. "What resonates for many diners is the use of imagery and a social layer. That’s a major emphasis of ours going forward."

[Image: Flickr user missmeng]

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