A clever little recommendations app to help find local products
be.first app review
I downloaded be.first months ago and never got around to using it until a few weeks ago. I feel like I’ve been missing out. It’s right up my alley because it predominantly shares local stores and products that you can buy. Let me explain though:
be.first is a recommendations app. The idea is that you set up a little profile and then get sharing. You’re able to load images of products and let people know what you found and where to get them. You can also load up a price saving you spot in a local store or suggest a service. It’s unregulated and just an opportunity to quickly pop in and say:
“Hey, I’ve found this, go take a look.”
It’s basically what I do on the blog or social media but in a much shorter format style and on an app where everyone else is looking for the very information you’re sharing. There’s various categories that you can search and upload to. It is important to note that the categories are primarily focused on retail consumer goods for women. The categories include Beauty, Fitness, Occasions, Travel, Homeware, Women’s Fashion, Meals and Drinks, Entertainment, Household Goods and Health Services. There are also some parenting categories which I’ve not explored as they aren’t relevant to me. While be.first isn’t exclusively focused on local products and services, the sentiment on the app tends to lean towards a focus on smaller self run businesses. So it becomes a great place to spot interesting and new products or offerings from local business owners.
I think this might be a great additional platform for me to share my finds and offer up peer reviews to other South African women looking for product suggestions. It’s much like many other social media networks except that in this case the people on the app are specifically looking and searching for these recommendations.
Using the App
Setting up a profile on be.first is relatively easy and you can customise the recommendations you see by selecting categories you’re interested in. Uploading your own recommendations is relatively easy as well. There are a few glitches that you should be aware of – setting a birthday or inputting dates in your recommendation uploads doesn’t work but you can simply leave this information out and you should be fine.
It’s also a new app so the user base isn’t very large, which means the recommendations aren’t as frequent as you might like. However, with time and more users I presume this will change a bit. Also if you see a product or deal that interests you and click for more information you’ll be taken out of the app to the link included. So keep that in mind.
For the most part it is rather fun to use and I think over time can definitely improve. I’ll be using it a bit more to share some of my local finds.
The development of be.first
The app came about in 2018 when two moms decided to leave their corporate jobs and wanted to create “a business that provides real value in people’s lives.” It’s a proudly South African app and small business, so if you’re a fan of shopping great deals and supporting local – go check it out!
I usually send out a weekly mailer with a recap of blog posts but also some personal anecdotes. If you want to know about competitions or just catch up in a more personal setting then you might like to receive the mailer.