Ask The Locals is a social networking tool with a difference; rather than connecting you with your friends, work colleagues or like-minded strangers, Ask The Locals connects you to specific places. You post a question through the app, then tie that question to a locale. Say, for example, you wanted to know if a bar you were considering going to was busy; post a question and anyone using the app in the bar would be able to give you an answer.
It’s a clever concept, presented to the user with the minimum amount of fuss. Once you’ve registered, you can ask questions, review the responses you’ve been sent and answer any queries that have been posted about where you are. The menu screen is uncluttered, with big icons and asking and answering are accessed with a single tap. Options and customization are kept to a bare minimum; your only real choices are whether to allow anonymous responses to your questions and whether to show notifications when you receive answers.
You pinpoint your question using an in-app map system, which is a little too vague for the precision that the app needs. You can zoom into locations, but it doesn’t allow you to tag your question to an actual business. You can mention the business in your question, but the app really needs a better way of making sure the question you’re asking is getting to the right people.
As with all social networks, Ask The Locals depends on a strong user base and at the moment, the major concern about the app is that it doesn’t have that. I’ve been using it for the best part of three days and despite asking numerous questions and checking in everywhere I went with my phone, I’ve not had a single response or a question to answer.
If Ask The Locals can get over this stumbling block and find a larger audience, then it has the potential to be a huge success. Because it’s so targeted, and because it’s entirely created by the people who use it, it stands apart from other geo-based networking apps. With a big community behind it and a better implemented geo-tagging system, Ask The Locals could well be massive.