Social Loyalty Platform PunchTab Heads To Mobile: Debuts Giveaways App For iPhone

PunchTab, a social loyalty and rewards platform now backed by $5.25 million in venture funding, is expanding its platform to mobile. Until now, the company had focused on allowing businesses and agencies to run campaigns across the social web – something that made it stand out from similar platforms, which often only target Facebook and Twitter. PunchTab, meanwhile, supports Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, and SoundCloud, for example. Today, the startup is launching an iPhone app called “PunchTab Giveaways,” which will allow consumers to engage with publishers’ contests on their phone.

When we first covered the PunchTab agency platform launch in May, it was working with Arby’s and eBay on select campaigns. Since then, the company has ramped up to powering over 1,000 giveaways per month for brands, including Nokia, AT&T, and the band Green Day, among others. For that last one, fans were encouraged to take actions like listening to new tracks on SoundCloud, checking in at Foursquare venues, uploading photos and more, all in the hopes of winning tickets and merchandise. PunchTab is now powering 12,000 loyalty programs as of this month, did 1,045 giveaways in September, and has over 30 agency and enterprise customers.

But PunchTab founder Ranjith Kumaran said that one bit of early feedback he heard from brands and publishers is that they wanted more ways to connect with users on mobile (well, who doesn’t?). This was especially true when running Facebook contests, because it’s difficult to interact with Facebook tabs from Facebook’s mobile app. To address this concern, PunchTab is today launching a giveaways app on iPhone. The Android version is coming soon.

In the new app, consumers will be able to access all the giveaways and campaigns running on the PunchTab platform. That means it supports following, liking, +1’ing, inviting friends and more. At launch, the app includes 100 active giveaways, some of which even have high-end prizes like Lytro cameras and Android tablets.

The app itself is fairly barebones, but it does make contest entry easier with one-click buttons for various actions. This is the kind of thing that should appeal to the freebies crowd – like those who surf Swagbucks, perhaps. But being a separate solution outside of Facebook feels a bit like a workaround to the challenges of using Facebook on mobile. And there’s now the challenge of directing interested participants to download another app. The app is live now, here in iTunes.