The search for finding popular, local venues has become easier thanks to a new web application called Clubview.
The free web application, which launched Saturday, allows users to see the nearby venues where their friends plan to be for the night. Clubview is the brain-child of Boston University graduate Harrison James Macris and his team.
Macris graduated from the College of Engineering in 2009 and earned his Master’s in administrative sciences at the Metropolitan College in 2011.
He got the idea when he noticed how challenging it was to coordinate a night out.
“My buddies and I, we’d always go out and we’d always have trouble coordinating with different groups,” Macris said. “We’d always have these different groups of friends that are all going different places.”
He said that the new application makes multi-tasking more efficient.
“We allow you to plan, so instead of sending out a thousand text messages or calling all your friends at 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. you just check in with Clubview,” he said.
Users access the web application, compatible with iPhones, Androids, Blackberrys and other touch-screen phones, at Clubview.com and log in through Facebook. From there, they see Facebook friends on a feed that tells users where they are or where they are planning to be.
Clubview also allows users to check into venues and alert friends where they plan to go.
“When you look at most social nightlife applications it’s just, you know, ‘Oh I’m at this bar and it’s crowded,’” said Elio Maggini, the team’s chief technology officer and graduate of Berklee School of Music. “There’s not the concept of ‘I’m planning to go there.’”
A Google map allows users to visualize these hotspots and see how popular they are based on different colors. Each color is based on an algorithm that adds value to each venue, Macris said.
The value is based on the number of people at a particular location. Venues are then ranked and color-coded based on this popularity value, or “friend density” Macris said. Venues turn from red, no friends— to green, lots of friends, as people check in.
The application recognizes about 100 venues in Boston, although Macris said that he hopes to expand to New York City by the end of the year. Since Clubview is web-based, the creators said that gaining users might initially be a problem.
“I would say right now our primary challenge is the fact that most people, when they hear the word app, they think ‘Oh, iTunes. Download,’” Maggini said.
But being web-based can have its advantages, such as easier and faster accessibility, fewer updates, and no downloads, Macris said.
“The real heart of this is about finding friends and having a good time,” he said. “We designed it with the user in mind.”