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'People are turning back to their friends': New shopping app skirts fake online reviews

Marina Peña
Production assistant

Instead of looking through fake product recommendations on Amazon (AMZN) and elsewhere, “people are turning back to their friends,” Lizzy Brockoff, the co-founder of the app Masse, told Yahoo Finance’s Midday Movers.

The Masse app seeks to help people separate the forged reviews from the trusted real ones by “making it easy for friends to ask for and share recommendations with each other,” Brockoff added.

Research shows that recommendations from friends are the strongest form of advertising.

The Masse app is only available to users in the United States right now. (Photo: Masse)

‘It’s all about customers sharing their real insights’

To get started on the app, users build a trusted network by following contacts. Once that network is built, users receive recommendations from followers and are able to search products and see reviews. 

Users can purchase products from participating retailers, and the app makes money by taking a cut from any of the sales made.

“It’s a positive brand experience for the retailers who are on board because it’s all about customers sharing their real insights with products that they’ve used,” said Elizabeth Shaffer, also a co-founder.

Masse app begins in an era that lack authenticity online. (Photo: Yahoo Finance)

But with giants like Yelp and Amazon that have been around for years and have populated the space, how is Masse going to compete?

Brockoff said they’re focusing on product recommendations and building up their technology so it can “cut through the clutter and find the right product” for users.

Read more: Habit-creation expert explains ‘the single biggest mistake’ people make

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