MyComments, Malaysian evaluation website & app for native meals & journey

Zakir Naik

Each time I need to get a restaurant advice or learn a evaluation a few spot, I often flip to Google. Good, previous, trustable Google with its tens of millions of search hits in simply a few seconds.

At this level, I don’t suppose I’m open to altering my tendencies. However this Malaysian app goals to problem that behavior in me and numerous different locals.

Known as MyComments, this app is actually like Yelp or TripAdvisor. Customers can primarily write feedback for eating places, way of life spots, and extra.

So… what units it aside from Yelp or TripAdvisor, the latter of which is arguably fairly common right here too, then? Earlier than we get into all that, right here’s how the app even happened within the first place.

Taking inspiration from overseas

Having lived in Shanghai for ten years, Lim had witnessed the rise of dianping.com, which had gone from a evaluation website providing group shopping for to one of many largest on-demand supply platforms in the present day.

Self-described as a real fan of the location, Lim was decided to deliver the idea house to Malaysia. He believed that many Malaysians may know of dianping, nevertheless it didn’t even have a foothold right here by way of utilization.

He kicked off the concept in 2013 utilizing his personal funds with a number of different companions on his facet. One among them was Anson Leong, who primarily labored free of charge again then.

MyComments, Malaysian evaluation website & app for native meals & journey

When requested about why Anson determined to work with Lim on the challenge pro-bono, he didn’t hesitate to reply.

“The very first thing is, I belief him,” Anson stated. “This is essential to me.”

Anson knew him from a earlier job and believed in Lim’s angle and skills.

“We began very early, nevertheless it was a part-time challenge,” Lim defined. “We at all times wished to make it a full-time one, however our sources have been very restricted. However we didn’t hand over.”

Final yr, the staff lastly raised their first spherical of investments from family and friends. MyComments now has two full-time workers, together with Anson.

Localising commentary

So, again to the query of what MyComments affords that units it aside from different evaluation apps.

“The differentiation is on native content material, becoming into social-cultural expectations of Malaysians,” Lim elaborated.

One apparent method is catering to the Muslim demographic in Malaysia. Apart from a halal tab on the principle web page, Muslim customers may also be prompted to make use of the Muslim-friendly settings upon opening the app.

In response to the staff, the app additionally has translation options by Google, so customers can click on on the choice and the interpretation will seem based mostly on the consumer language cellphone setting. That is helpful for a multilingual nation like Malaysia.

One other function is curation. MyComments’ staff describes the platform as a “digital journal”, notably as a result of High 10 listing and the video content material they produce.  

The High 10 listing principally homes native content material and listicles comparable to “High 10 Nasi Lemak in Larger KL Beneficial by Netizens”, “High 10 Free Entrance Hotspots in Ipoh”, and extra.

“Google is ‘search’, MyComments is ‘browse’,” the staff simplified.

As a smaller, native platform, MyComments can also be in a position to hook up with its customers extra and reply to suggestions extra effectively.

Fixing retailers’ ache factors

MyComments’ present enterprise mannequin depends on retailers signing up for its digital promoting system.

With a base value of RM12.50 per day, retailers can primarily increase their shops to wider audiences as they’re given precedence in search outcomes with the assistance of location-based providers.

These paying retailers additionally get entry to the Enterprise Console the place they will write their very own store descriptions, add official movies and images, and publish their Enterprise WhatsApp hyperlinks for bookings and orders.

Retailers may also publish ongoing promotions or coupons on their pages to drive up curiosity. In response to Lim, MyComments doesn’t earn any commissions off redemptions of those coupons.

Believing that adverts on websites like Google and Fb are costlier these days, MyComments thinks its packages are extra helpful. This can be true, however the outcome all comes all the way down to MyComments’ attain.

Video content material may be discovered on the app too

A problem hindering this, although, is that MyComments lacks credibility. Not many find out about it, even supposing it’s been round for some time.

“The factor I’m fairly fearful [about] is that folks don’t know who we’re,” Anson stated. “Are we a rip-off? Are we trustable? That is the issue.”

To achieve Malaysians’ belief, the staff goals to up their media publicity and transparency.

My feedback on MyComments

To be trustworthy, I nonetheless had some doubts left even after listening to the staff converse in regards to the app. Whereas the app is considerably lively, it’s positively so much much less populated in comparison with common, well-established websites.

But, I do see the allure of the app. Whereas there are some kinks with the languages to kind out, the UI and UX of the app are clear and approachable.

The app feels very very similar to a cushty, healthful platform for Malaysians to share little titbits of data with one another.

Nonetheless, I puzzled whether or not there’s an urge for food for this. Particularly on this age of social media, the place anybody can simply lookup an influential meals or journey account to seek out trending locations to go to.  

That is exacerbated by the truth that an idea like this isn’t distinctive.

Apart from the aforementioned apps comparable to Yelp and TripAdvisor, there’s additionally KLOOK, a well-liked possibility out there in Malaysia.

It lets customers lookup journey and F&B locations on prime of different actions and even e book these packages immediately on its websites. Given, it’s not primarily a evaluation website, however prospects can go away evaluations and rankings too.

Nonetheless, this business is probably going sufficiently big for a number of gamers. MyComments has its work minimize out, although, because it gained’t be simple attempting to develop visibility and consciousness within the shadow of extra established giants.

However there’s little doubt that the staff behind MyComments is passionate. And so they’re optimistic. That’s what stored them going from 2013 till now.

And maybe that optimistic outlook and perseverance are properly worth-it; MyComments is lastly kicking off its service provider mannequin, having signed its first service provider not too long ago. In response to Anson, there are 10 to twenty extra retailers who’ve verbally agreed to affix in on the app.

This optimism extends to MyComments’ future. Speaking to the staff, it looks like they’re enthusiastic about creating some sort of all-in-one way of life app that makes peoples’ lives extra handy. As soon as once more, this concept isn’t something new, however we’re to see how MyComments may put their very own tweak to it.

In brief, MyComments goals to be an app created by Malaysians for Malaysians. It’s an area for locals to trade suggestions and evaluations.

In fact, its longevity will come down as to whether the staff is ready to proceed advertising and marketing it in a method that’s related to our ever-changing content material consumption habits.

  • Study extra about MyComments right here.
  • Learn different articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups right here.

Featured Picture Credit score: Anson Lim, Director at MyComments

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