Foodie Startup Dubbed ‘The Facebook of Food’

Author: Samantha Rollins
Date Published: 2011-02-02
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Time's Techland reporter, Samantha Rollins, describes the new Foodily website as a sleek and comprehensive recipe and ingredient search engine with impressive social integration. She highlights the key search capabilities of the food site and how it deeply integrates with social media site, Facebook.

“What do you want to eat?”

It’s one of the most common questions we ask every day. But while the foodie media answers this on television, on the web and in blogs, the ever-growing world of social media has yet to tap in to foodie market.

Enter Foodily, a sleek and comprehensive recipe and ingredient search engine with impressive social integration. The startup, which was founded by two former Yahoo! employees, aggregates millions of recipes from all over the web. In comparison, other leading recipe sites like AllRecipes.com, index about 50,000.

When searching for an ingredient or dish on Foodily, your results are displayed in a cool, sideways-scrolling interface that shows a photo of the dish, the recipe and where it came from (recipes are sourced from commercial sites like Epicurious and from popular food blogs, a special addition that other recipe aggregators lack).

The real triumph here is that the search engine can be as broad or as narrow as you want. Don’t like the taste of cilantro? Search for tacos without them. Don’t have cumin in your spice rack? You can hide all recipes that include cumin and keep searching for that perfect taco ’til your heart’s content.

Super search capabilities aside, Foodily is getting all the buzz for its deep Facebook integration, and rightfully so. After all, eating, like Facebook, is quite a social experience. If you’re logged in to Facebook, you’ll see the recipes your friends like. And if you favorite a recipe, it will show up that you’ve “liked” it on Facebook. Foodily also lets you plan a meal, create a menu and invite friends to join you via Facebook, a feature that’s bound to be useful for planning potlucks or holidays.

While other sites like Yelp, Groupon and Grubwithus all touch on elements of foodie networking, Foodily is the first food site to truly go social. And with its plans to stay ad-free by using coupons that are paired with search results as a revenue source, we’re even more compelled to dig in.