warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Google's Boutiques.com, Hotpot Headed In Separate Directions

Paresh Dave |
November 17, 2010 | 8:29 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Two days, two very random product releases from technology giant Google.

The one with the random name, Hotpot, appears destined for failure. The one with a random goal, Boutiques.com, could become a hit.

Hotpot seeks to get users to rate and review restaurants. As smart and pretty as the service is, it's unlikely to pick up a user base with Yelp and Urbanspoon already heavily entrenched in the market. Many sites have already remarked how late to the party Google is. The work of those who do adopt Hotspot won't be wasted though.

Even if it kills the service sometime during the next couple years, Google will have a nice new pile of data to make search results better in the future. And, we know, everything comes back to search for Google.

Boutiques.com, though also late to the market of female shopping websites, has enough new features to succeed. The group of shoppers it applies to most 13-year-old to 35-year-old females are generally quick adopters of technologies that allow them to buy more shoes, accessories and clothing.

The only piece missing from the website is Facebook integration. Users can share fashions directly to Twitter, but there's no share on Facebook button or a Facebook like button. Without a tighter bond with Facebook, Google's success will be limited. By allowing friends to become more immersed in the "social shopping" experience of individual users, the new website's ceiling is unlimited.

Reach executive producer Paresh Dave here. Follow him on Twitter: @peard33.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.