Untappd’s Greg Avola Discusses Keeping a Social App Relevant in the Age of Social Distancing


Untappd -- the beer ranking and checking in smartphone app -- was built on the notion of being social. However, being social in the U.S. has been taken away by the novel coronavirus disease, which has forced consumers to stay inside their homes and shut down brewery taprooms, tasting rooms, bars and restaurants across the country.

Much like the breweries selling beer curbside and delivering cases to consumers, Untappd has also had to adapt and innovate. Untappd co-founder Greg Avola and his team got to work, adding the Untappd At Home feature, which allows the app’s users to tag themselves at home and gather virtually, and Greg’s List, a searchable list of breweries, bars, taprooms and restaurants where consumers can buy beer-to-go, pick up beer curbside and purchase gift cards.The company has also launched Untappd TV, where it hosts virtual happy hours.

The check-ins on Untappd, which collects a rich data set, has shown that consumers are heeding stay-at-home orders, even in states without mandatory directives.

“My favorite stat to look at on a Friday or Saturday night is what venues are trending on Untappd from a global perspective, and honestly, over the last three or four weeks, there have been no U.S. venues trending at all since middle of March,” Avola said.

Over the last three weeks, Untappd at Home has received 2.5 million check ins, with more than 600,000 users using the feature, Avola added.

The new features added to Untappd have been built with the intention of maintaining them in a post-COVID-19 world, Avola said.

“What we’re trying to build are viable products on our platform that not only help during COVID but also help us post COVID, as well,” he added.

In the above video interview with Brewbound, Avola also discusses law changes during the pandemic and whether those will remain in place post-COVID-19, the future of the on-premise and Untappd’s own events business, and the integration of Beer Advocate, which the company acquired in February.

Watch the video above, and look for additional video conversations in the coming days and weeks on Brewbound.com. Brewbound will also host a live-streamed event on Thursday, April 16, at 3 p.m. EST, discussing how beer companies are navigating operations in states where statewide stay-at-home orders have not been issued.

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