Popular Pays is an app that rewards Instagram users with free perks for taking photographs of participating businesses, with locations unlocked based on the number of Instagram followers. Started in Chicago, the app just starting releasing locations in New York City. For now, the early partners are mostly coffee shops like Toby’s Estate Coffee, Joe Coffee, Intellegentsia and Bluestone Lane Coffee (some spots featured on our Top 10 Coffee Shops for Design Buffs in Brooklyn list), where you can get a free cup of coffee with an Instagram from the spot, as long as you have 500 followers. At Spyglass Rooftop Bar atop Archer New York Hotel, get a free specialty coffee with a photo and 3,000 followers.
There’s also a map view to show you the opportunities around you. On another level, starting at around 10,000 followers, you can accept “gigs” and propose a price for showcasing products varying from a hotel room, apparel like Paige Denim, food like Plated and Gatorade, makeup, or accessories for your phone.
We’re looking forward to seeing this platform expand in New York City. Read more from our column on featured urban apps and websites.