Review: Tapastreet

TapastreetTapastreet isnt, as the name might suggest, a service for finding Spanish-style snacks while out and about. But dont be too disappointed, as the actual concept is even more intriguing – an aggregator of social media with a location-based twist.

The app pulls images and videos from Instagram, Twitter, Flickr and Viddy, and uses each services location data to position them on a map.

Content can be filtered by the users location, or by searching for a chosen location or hashtag, and then displayed overlaid onto a Google Map, or in a combined feed. Tapping a piece of content brings up a larger version, if its an image, or plays, if its a video. These can then be liked or shared – though this requires an account for the relevant service to be linked up to the app.

Its a great, simple idea, which is presented with a minimum of fuss. The tutorial consists of just six captioned images, partially because the app is so intuitive to use, and partially because its functionality is somewhat limited.

Maps often arent as well populated as you might expect. Earlier this week, at a gig in London, I tried searching for the bands name as a hashtag, then the location of the venue, and both resulted in a disappointing lack of content. This is presumably caused by the privacy settings of social media users, but its not the only issue with Tapastreet. The app relies on various APIs from social networks and Google Maps, and compatibility issues with these can halt progress or crash the entire app.

Its still early days for Tapastreet – the app only launched in September – and so flaws are forgiveable, but they could easily bring down a strong concept.

The service has plenty of potential use cases for Tapastreet: witnessing an event remotely, from the perspective of the people who are there; finding out where people are sharing content around a particular topic; or feeling out a tourist destination while planning a holiday. For now, though, that potential simply isnt being realised.