Location based services like Foursquare, Gowalla and others are increasing in usage but there are definite privacy concerns with sharing your exact location with the world. Rally Up recently launched its location based social network via an iPhone app that only includes your “real friends” and emphasizes privacy as a main feature of the application. Today, Rally Up is bringing its application to the iPad with a free app.
First, Rally Up allows you to only friend other people who are on using the app. And Rally Up purposely does not integrate with Twitter, with the ambition of keeping your friends more “pure.” Plus the app wants to encourage its users to use Rally Up as a microblogging application as well as a location based social network. The app does, however, allow you to push your updates to your Facebook friends, under the assumption that your social graph on Facebook will include more of your “real friends.”
Another cool feature of Rally Up is the ability to adjust the “flow” of information to and from specific people. The friend slider includes 4 different modes (real, feed, lurk, mute) to choose from and each one controls the content you send out and the content you receive. You can mute people temporarily, so if don’t want someone to know where you are tonight, you mute them. If your friend is set to Real, he or she will be able to see where you check in and you’ll also see all of their check ins. Additionally, you’ll get a push notification (like a text message, but free) on your iPhone alerting you the instant your friend checks in anywhere.
Feed’s status is similar to real, except you won’t get a push notification every time your friend checks in. Lurk status allows you to see a person’s check ins in your feed, but they won’t see your activity. Rally Up includes a number of other privacy-focused features. For example, home is always set as private in the app. You can also declare certain locations as temporary so it is not added permanently to the database.
Lipman says that LBS apps on the iPad have huge potential because of the content on these apps, particularly news feeds and maps. Of course, rally Up is also a microblogging network, so it includes additional content besides just check-ins. Maps are definitely more enhanced on the device’s screen, says Lipman, making the experience more interactive. It should be interesting to see how popular LBS social networks like Foursquare, Gowalla, and others tackle the iPad. Loopt already launched its iPad app a few weeks ago.