Gowalla, a developer of a location-based social networking app, has adopted a bold strategy: embrace its archenemies and use them to extend reach. In a new version of its app, Gowalla is making it easy to follow friends check-ins to locations on Foursquare and Facebook Places.
Marketing using location and social networking are like peanut butter and chocolate — they’re a perfect combination. Add mobile and you have a trio of hot technologies attracting capital from investors and big companies alike. Here are the revenue models to watch as these elements collide.
Black Friday has become a holiday unto itself, where bargain hunters shake off their turkey hangovers to wake up before dawn and chase amazing deals. But as is the case with many activities these days, technology is rapidly changing the way people shop.
The location wars are heating up just in time for the holidays. Location-based services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, SCVGR, Yelp and others have brought out big-name partners and expanded rewards to help give the check-in services a big push at the end of the year.
While rival Foursquare just hit 4 million users last week, Austin-based Gowalla is positioning itself to make more money with a handful of new features including business listings, City Pages and Stamp Calendar. It’s another sign that location-based companies are trying to move beyond the check-in.
In the debate over apps versus the web on smartphones, apps are winning, says Gowalla CEO Josh Williams. There’s hope from companies like Opera and Google that the web will surge ahead as HTML 5 becomes more widespread, but Williams has his doubts.
If your are a consumer geo-location startup, then you have to content with one simple reality — a little company from New York called Foursquare. But life does continue for other apps, including Whrrl, a location centric discovery app developed by Seattle-based Pelago.
According to a recent survey, fewer than 5 percent of U.S. online users have ever used a location-based application such as Foursquare on a mobile device. And almost 85 percent of those who responded to the survey said that they were not familiar with location-based services.
Not sure if you should Foursquare, Gowalla or Brightkite to post your location? A recent survey from uTest ought to help you make that decision, and the results provide useful information for developers in this space, showing that location-based services haven’t changed with the times.
There’s no question location-based services such as Foursquare and Gowalla are hot properties, with Foursquare reportedly the subject of multiple acquisition offers, including one from Yahoo estimated at $100 million. But are these services really standalone businesses, or are they features that belong inside other businesses?