Thursday, 16 June 2022

Why all the hate for Untappd?

I'm an Untappd user. If you're not familiar with Untappd, I often tell people, "It's like pick your favorite social network, but for beer." It's a social platform in that there are friends, comments, and even direct messaging options. It's also a beer log and "gamifies" one's enjoyment of beer through badges and levels in styles and in overall progress of unique beers tried. Untappd makes money through badge sponsorships and providing tap houses with tools for menus and building networks of visitors and users of Untappd though APIs and menu displays that scroll beer "checkins," thus creating engagement and much more. 

The tools for brewers, even homebrewers such as myself, are powerful and can help brewers and breweries with market reach and managing their visibility to a growing, worldwide community.

Now, if this sounds like a marketing post for a social platform, you are probably right, but your context is wrong. I may be as close to power user of Untappd as one can get being a free user of the platform. I have a calendar reminder that prods me to work on my progress in the New Brew Thursday badge, one of the hardest badges to level—and I still fail a lot to move progress even as a 10 year user! I registered our home brewery so that we can post our beers and have friends checkin when sharing. 

This is the context I'm working in when I ask "Why all the hate for Untappd?" I've had the occasion to have some interesting conversations with brewers that have expressed a dismissal with prejudice—hate—of Untappd.

When I asked one local brewer why I couldn't find the brewery's beers on Untappd, I was subjected to arguments like:

  • Users are trolls
  • Users can't taste the love put into the beer
  • Users get the hops, yeast, and adjuncts wrong
  • Users don't rate
  • Users don't comment
  • Users can't get the style right

I smiled. Yet my mental rebuttals went something like, 

"But the brewery is not on Untappd. So, it stands that beers won't get ratings or comments. If the beers are not on Untappd, then the latter stands, and further, there are users like me that will add the beer. If a user adds the beer maybe that user gets the style wrong. Who's fault is that again? But if the brewer and brewery were on Untappd, there are tools to manage incorrect checkins, merge user contributed beers with the official beer, and much more."
"In short, you're doing Untappd wrong."

More recently, a coworker and proprietor of a beer canning concern, answering my request to "checkin on Untappd"—after praising my recent beer—"I don't use Untappd, I think it's stupid." Ok. That's a position. See above why I disagree.

As said, I'm a power user of Untappd. It extends into our home brewing as well. My wife and I have labels—art produced by your's truly—made at bottleyourbrand.com, even bottle caps made at grogtag.com. We've made beers for charity and gaming cons.

If you're on Untappd, I invite you to follow our home brewery, Thirsty Stone Brewing, however unlikely it is you may have occasion to try our beer. You can live vicariously though the platform!

Posted by caffeinated at 9:34 AM in Bohemian Breakfast
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