• Yelp Enables Check-Ins On Its iPhone App; Foursquare, Gowalla Ousted As Mayors

    When you think of the idea of “checking-in” at a venue in a mobile app, you likely think of Foursquare or Gowalla right now. The two gained significant momentum, funding, and users in the location space in 2009. But even with the growth, both services are still relatively small, neither much bigger than 200,000 users. That’s why much larger social networks like Facebook… Read More

  • Whrrl, Still Trying To Find Its Way In Location, Focuses On "Footstreams"

    Much of the web is based around clickstreams. The latest version of Whrrl, a location-based application by Pelago, wants to take that concept into the real world, with “footstreams.” Up until this point, since the launch of version 2 of its iPhone app earlier this year, Whrrl’s focus has been on storytelling. That is, allowing users to tag places they’re at with stories… Read More

  • Loopt Ventures Into Yelp's Territory With New Local Reviews Site

    Before there was Gowalla or Foursquare, there was location-based social network Loopt. Launched in 2006, Loopt was one of the pioneers of the location-based mobile social network. And Loopt has gained a huge number of users of its mobile apps; the social network currently has 3 million mobile users, 1 million of which are on the iPhone. Compared to Foursquare and Gowalla, which have 150,000… Read More

  • Are Google's Local Barcode Stickers Their Backdoor Check-Ins?

    A couple weeks ago, Google sent out 190,000 2D barcode stickers to the most popular local businesses around the country who had set up a Place Page on Google Maps. When people who are walking by a store or restaurant see one of these stickers they can pull out any phone with a special barcode reader and open up that store’s mobile Place Page, which is Google’s local directory. … Read More

  • Golden Gifts: Gowalla Steps Up Its Game For The Holidays

    As Foursquare has shown so far, gaming elements are an intriguing part of location-based services. And more recently, Gowalla has started moving more towards that space as well. And just in time for the holidays, they have a new game that can earn users presents. During what is calls “The 10 And A Half Days of Christmas (Because 12 Days Were Too Predictable),” Gowalla is giving… Read More

  • Location's Social Paradox

    There’s an absolute eruption of activity around location-based services right now. Companies are getting funded left and right, new ones are popping up daily, and certain ones are seemingly starting to take off. But for a number of them, there’s a very big wall looming. And the more popular they get, the quicker they’ll reach it. A few weeks ago, our own Jason Kincaid wrote… Read More

  • Loopt Takes Location-Based Gaming Literally

    A lot has been made recently about the gaming elements of location-based social networks. Services like Foursquare and Gowalla allow users to compete for things like mayorships, badges, and virtual goods. Now Loopt is getting in on the fun, and taking it more literally into the real world. The Loopt Holiday Scavenger Crawl is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a scavenger hunt during… Read More

  • Plancast Is Foursquare… For The Future

    If you’re going to leave your job at TechCrunch, you better have a good reason. I think Mark Hendrickson actually may have had one. Hendrickson left TechCrunch in March. After about two years of writing and doing development for TC, he got the startup itch. He formed a company, Worldly Developments, and along with co-founder Jay Marcyes is now ready to unveil their project: Plancast. As… Read More

  • Location Is The Missing Link Between Social Networks And The Real World

    Imagine a world where you sit at your computer and you never go outside. Where you never see another human being. This is the world that sites like Google and Facebook want you to live in. Though they’d never admit to such a thing, the reasoning should be obvious: The longer you’re at your computer, the more time you’re spending on their sites. The more time your spending… Read More

  • Loopt Begins Fresh Mobile Assault With Pulse And Background Location For BlackBerry

    As a blackberry user, I generally feel a little left out of of the location-based apps world. FourSquare only provides a mobile site for BlackBerry users (but has an Android app). BrightKite has an innovative BlackBerry app, but it’s not nearly as feature-rich as its sister iPhone app. Today, location-based social network Loopt is making a major upgrade to its BlackBerry app. The new… Read More

  • On-The-Go Mobile Coupons: Almost As Cool As Minority Report. Not Quite As Creepy.

    In the Steven Spielberg movie Minority Report (yes, I make some reference to it about once a week), there’s a scene in which John Anderton (Tom Cruise’s character) is walking through an urban retail center and his eyes are getting scanned as he moves, which is serving up custom greetings and deals from retailers. It’s both creepy and cool. But that movie is set in 2054… Read More

  • Loopt Shifts Its Strategy To Tap The Pulse Of Location

    When Loopt launched in 2006 it was ahead of a curve that is just starting to be recognized: Location. Now, with services like Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite, and even Twitter fueling the location-based services frenzy, Loopt realized that it needed to shift its strategy a bit. Enter Pulse, a new feature launching today. Previously, Loopt was more of a passive service — you started it up… Read More

  • Stalqer Peers Into Your iPhone For A New Level Of Location-Based Creepiness

    Foursquare and Loopt have put location-based social networks on the map, and have potentially created a viable business model as well. Now there’s a new kid on the block, called Stalqer, which best described as a Foursquare on steroids. The iPhone app, which will be free, should hit the app store in the next few hours. In theory, Stalqer is very similar to Foursquare in that it tracks… Read More

  • More Details On Loopt's Acquisition Of GraffitiGeo And Its Plans For The Future

    Last night we broke the news that location-based mobile social network Loopt had acquired GraffitiGeo, a fellow Y Combinator-backed startup that launched only a few months ago. Neither company was willing to comment on the acqusition last night, but earlier today they finally confirmed it and opened up to share some of the logic behind the deal. GraffitiGeo launched in August, when I described… Read More

  • Mobile Social Network Wars: Loopt Acquires GraffitiGEO

    Loopt, the New Enterprise Associates and Sequoia-backed mobile social network, has acquired a relative newcomer to the scene – Y Combinator startup GraffitiGEO. Multiple sources have confirmed the acquisition, although neither company is commenting. GraffitiGEO, which launched just a couple of months ago, combines mobile social networking with reviews and games. It’s somewhat… Read More

  • Loopt's Mix Grows Up; Becomes An iPhone App

    At TechCrunch, we’ve always been big fans of mobile social networks, particularly on the iPhone. In fact, Loopt, one of the first location-based iPhone apps and social networks to gain popularity, was offered a feature, called Mix, that acts as a social compass that allows people to connect with and learn about others around them. Mix turned out to be such a popular feature that Loopt… Read More

  • Background Location Finds A Loop(t)hole On The iPhone

    A location-based social network is not going to truly take off on the iPhone until it can run in the background. You know it, I know it, and even Loopt, which makes such an app, knows it. That’s why they’ve done something about it. Beginning today, Loopt is rolling out a trial for background location on the iPhone. Yes, you read that right. If you’ve been following the iPhone… Read More

  • Leaked Loopt 2.0 Screenshot Reveals New Focus On Places

    Loopt was the first location-based iPhone app to get a lot of buzz. It’s a social network that lets you keep track of where your friends are with the help of the iPhone’s GPS. Since it launched in the App Store on day 1 in July of last year, several other competitors have come along including Google with its Latitude service (though it’s not yet available on the iPhone). Read More

  • Mobile Socializing: Limbo Merges With Brightkite And Announces $9 Million Funding Round

    In the nascent world of mobile social networking, there are the big dogs (Facebook and MySpace) and everyone who wants to be a big dog. Two of the puppies just got bigger. Limbo is buying Brightkite, which all the tech kids are raving about, in a nearly all-stock transaction. It will change its name to Brightkite in a re-branding move, and gain Brightkite’s engineering team and… Read More

  • Earthcomber Drops Patent Lawsuit Against TechCrunch, Loopt

    Just a housekeeping item: the ridiculous patent infringement lawsuit brought against us and mobile social network Loopt (details here and here) by Earthcomber is history. The company walked away from the lawsuit. We criticized being included in the lawsuit because we are nothing more than a search filter on Loopt. And the Earthcomber founder appeared to include us out of spite for not giving… Read More

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