The feature is called “Local Heroes” and is billed as “the fun side of Rummbling” but it is quite obviously going to be Rumbble’s way of attacking the buzz surrounding the game of checking-in and becoming a “Mayor” of a location as propogated by the New York-based Foursquare. Local Heroes is a feature listed under “Empire” which suggests that there will be yet more gaming elements introduced.
Rummble has until now relied on its users to create content about places they visit and rate their friends’ ability to do so – what it calls the Rummble trust network. But clearly that’s not quite enough in the face of big players like Qype, dominant in Europe for local reviews, and Yelp in the U.S.
So Rummble is entering the social location gaming pushed by the likes of Foursquare and Gowalla.
Thus users on Rummble can now not only work out whose opinion they trust about a place (cafe, bar etc) but also look up the Local Hero, as in the expert, for the place they are in. Rummble’s view is that this is going to be a better badge of honour than someone who has just checked-in a lot and earned points for a place.
The move has also come as Rummble propogates it’s new open API. This will allow any developer to build any kind of game on top of Rummble’s service.