You could make an argument that one of the things holding back the growth of location-based service Gowalla was that there was no full API support. After all, rival Foursquare has had their full API rocking and rolling since last November. But after today, you won’t be able to make that argument anymore.
Atoms and bits are coming together in interesting ways. A slew of geo apps like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Loopt let you leave digital markings in the real world whenever you check into a location. Stickybits lets you put barcodes on physical objects which invokes a message, photo, or video which can be passed around with the object. And now we are beginning to see startups figuring out ways to… → Read More
In the battle of Foursquare versus Gowalla in the location space, Gowalla is often thought of as “the pretty one.” But Foursquare has been attempting to improve their look and feel recently with a number of changes. The latest comes today with new profile pages.
Yesterday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt sat down with a group of reporters after his panel at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, CA. He said he was open to taking any questions, so I decided to ask him about Foursquare.
While rival Foursquare seems firmly focused on the business side of things, Gowalla continues to focus on building a beautiful product. The next step in that comes on Wednesday when the service will unveil a way to make customized Passports.
Your Gowalla Passport is essentially your profile page, but Gowalla organizes it in a way to highlight some of the core features that help them differentiate… → Read More
Heavy Foursquare users, you have a new app to get immediately. Future Checkin is an app that allows you to check-in to your favorite Foursquare venues automatically when you’re near them. You don’t have to do a thing besides simply have your phone on you and this app will check you in while running in the background with iOS 4.
Developer Tim Sears says he was actually inspired to make this app by… → Read More
At Google I/O in May, the search giant indicated that they were about to take their commitment to location to the next level. Sure, Latitude had been around for a while, but everyone knew that Google could do more in the space. The announcement of some new location APIs seemed to a big part of the solution. And now comes the fun part.
Forget about checking-in to venues. Apparently, the new thing to do is to check-in to whatever you’re doing — like watching television shows, or reading a book. It’s something that Hot Potato offers, and they’re in the process of being acquired by Facebook. It’s what GetGlue offers as well, and they’re already seeing over 4.5 million ratings and check-ins a month now. And today, the service is… → Read More
Perhaps you recall that late last year, Google was in discussions to buy Yelp. Despite a supposed offer of $550 million plus earn-outs, Yelp walked away from the deal. But that isn’t stopping Google for entering Yelp’s business. Today, Google continues their fast-moving assault on local and location with a revamped Google Maps for mobile.
Central to Maps for mobile 4.4 is Google Places, the… → Read More
Location-based social networking service Brightkite has experimented with the concept of badges in the past, threading in the footsteps of Foursquare and Gowalla, who have popularized if not pioneered the now-familiar virtual loyalty and rewards system.
Location-based social network Gowalla is teaming up with CNNMoney for Money magazine’s annual “Best Places To Live” list. The top towns on the list have their own Gowalla hot spots, which are linked to from each city profile. For instance, the top Gowalla hot spots in McKinney, Texas (No. 5) include the Landon Winery, Pub McKinney, and Coffee N Cream. If you are within 25 miles of the top 25… → Read More
Editor’s note: The following analysis is written by Robert J. Moore, the CEO and co-founder of RJMetrics, an on-demand database analytics and business intelligence startup. Robert blogs at The Metric System and can be followed on Twitter at @RJMetrics.
For the past week or so, it seems that every sports talk radio program and just about every show on ESPN has been talking about a billboard that just got put up in New York City. Technically, it’s a giant mural painted on the site of a building on 34th & 8th in the city. Why are people talking about it? Two reasons. First, it features the giant faces of new New Jersey Nets owner (and Russian… → Read More
As iPhone apps push out their updates to be compatible with the new iOS 4, most are focusing on adding simple fast app switching capabilities. Many are also giving their apps a quick new coat of polish to make them look a bit nicer on the new Retina display found on the iPhone 4. The location-based service Gowalla is focusing heavily on the latter.
Version 2.2 of Gowalla, which just went live in… → Read More
When Loopt first launched on the iPhone alongside the App Store in 2008, it looked to be an awesome new location-based service. Apple clearly agreed, as they gave the app plenty of face time: demo slots on stage at major events, appearances in commercials, promotion in the App Store, etc. But the early version of Loopt had a fatal flaw: to work properly, the app had to be running all the time. → Read More
This ia a guest post by Justin Davies, founder of NinetyTen, a UK-based consultancy providing mobile community and location aware solutions to companies. Davies also founded the now defunct BuddyPing, an early mobile social networking community based on the realtime location of users.
Not to sound too much like my grandad talking about the War, but when I was doing this, it was all about sending… → Read More
We’ve all heard about mayor deals with Foursquare. That is, a person who is the “mayor ” of a venue (essentially, has checked-in there the most number of times) gets access to special deals, such free items or discounts. Gowalla goes about its deals a bit differently. Because there are no “mayors” in Gowalla, instead, they’re focusing on giving everyone an equal opportunity to earn special… → Read More
Since late last year, Twitter has included location as a key part of its API. Earlier this year, it was rolled out to twitter.com as well. But those locations have been abstract cities or areas. Starting now, Twitter is adding actual venues into the mix as well.
As we all know by now, comments on the Internet are a fascinating thing. My favorite involve the word “fanboy.” Generally speaking, it means you write (stories, tweets, whatever) about a certain topic with a positive angle. It’s meant to be derogatory, but the truth is that it’s so overused that it’s almost completely meaningless. But for the sake of this post, I’ll play ball. I have a confession… → Read More
Yesterday, Robert Scoble wrote a post about “Foursquare’s Yelp problem.” It’s an interesting read, with some good thoughts about how Foursquare can withstand feature-copying from a much larger rival. He asked for my thoughts, so I figured I’d jot some down here. Most importantly, his post got me thinking about the next phase of location, which I think we’re just about to enter.
First, Scoble’s… → Read More
Editor’s note: The following is a guest post written by Robert Scoble, who travels the world for Rackspace interviewing tech geeks for building43.com. He’s one of the most popular (stalked) users of location-based services and has 8,215 friends on Foursquare. Here he writes about what the location-based world could look like in 2012 and what might keep it from happening.
It’s January 2012… → Read More
Over the past several months I’ve moderated or been on a number of panels with many of the top players in the location space. A common theme keeps recurring. When someone brings up rivalries between any of the companies, it is always downplayed in favor of an “everyone wins” message. I’ve been skeptical of that since day one, but as the space has exploded, there have been signs that a lot of… → Read More
Back in March, I wrote about the problem of check-in fatigue. That is, with so many location-based check-in services now out there, it’s exhausting to open each one every time to check-in to the same place across multiple networks. The solution, for now at least, is Check.in. And it’s ready to open to everyone tonight.
In terms of design, Gowalla has always had a leg up on rival Foursquare. (Seeing as much of the Gowalla’s team background is design, that’s hardly surprising.) Today, the service has unveiled yet another overhaul of their website design. And along with it, they’ve brought in a new business opportunity.
Like Twitter before it, and Facebook before that, Foursquare is gaining some momentum as a platform. There are now some 500 apps out there, co-founder Dennis Crowley tells us. Or at least, he thinks there are that many based on the number of registered tokens out there. Truth be told, even Foursquare only knows of about 100 or so of them first-hand. And that’s why they’re launching a new App… → Read More
History (read: Twitter) has taught us that combining a great service with a stable, open API usually makes for a healthy ecosystem that has the ability to improve said service, both for its users and the company powering it. New features and functionalities that are left out of the provider’s roadmap – for whatever reason – get implemented by creative third-party developers, leaving end users with… → Read More
Last month, Erick wrote a post calling for the creation of an open database of places. As location-based services continue to gain popularity, each of them is building up these massive databases of places themselves, and this is going to become an issue as services like Twitter and potentially Facebook attempt to federate all this data. And Erick is hardly alone in thinking about this — nearly… → Read More
Yesterday, AdAge ran a story that Facebook was preparing to roll out its first true location-based service (beyond its for-fun Presence thing). The story said that the social network was partnering with McDonald’s for a special Facebook app that would allow people to check-in to restaurants and get deals. But apps that use location to emulate Foursquare on Facebook have limited appeal. Much more… → Read More
For the past few weeks I’ve been struggling. I’m addicted to all these location-based iPhone apps, but of the big ones, really only Loopt has had a native iPad app ready to go from the beginning. Today that changes with the launch of Gowalla’s iPad app.
Location based apps and services are all the rage now, with Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, and Twitter leading the space. Startup ChoiceVendor has launched a location based iPhone app and service called MoPho.to that has a different twist. Instead of an emphasis on check-ins, MoPhoto is designed around the idea of capturing a photo. It’s “social photography” with geotagged photos enriched with… → Read More