Posts Tagged ‘Yelp’

Everyone Is Playing The Location Game

June 16th, 2010

I am a fairly active user of Foursquare, not so much Gowalla – although I do have it on my phone. We are dipping our toe in the water with location based, mobile programs here at Intel (look out for my post when that program launches) and I definitely see it as a relevant, and important marketing platform for brands now and even more so in the near future. Location based services are in the news every day now and there is case study after case study of how brands are effectively using the various services in their marketing and media campaigns.  Monday, Twitter announced that they are adding ‘Twitter Places‘ to their portfolio of services to give more context to people’s tweets.  This is strictly an ‘opt in‘ component to your stream – if you choose not to pinpoint your exact location. What I like most about this is that Twitter didn’t cut out other players in the location game, like Foursquare and Gowalla – rather, they’ve moved forward with seamlessly integrating those services into their launch activities and opened up their API to allow for developers to integrate this functionality into their applications.

Foursquare and Gowalla integration: Many Foursquare and Gowalla users publish check-ins to Twitter. Location is a key component of these Tweets, so we worked closely with both companies to associate a Twitter Place with Tweets generated by these services. This means that if you click on a Twitter Place, such as “Ritual Roasters,” you will see standard Tweets and check-ins from Foursquare and Gowalla.

They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  Since SXSW 2009, where both Dennis Crowley and Josh Williams introduced their respective services, others have scrambled to catch up to the wave of momentum that has buoyed both companies leading efforts in this space.  Last week Robert Scoble wrote a post on his site that discussed how Foursquare is in danger of losing ground to other companies (he used Yelp as the specific example) who are copying some of the key components of Foursquare’s offering (badging specifically).  Scoble makes a great point when he states that Foursquare will need to continue to innovate, add features, and even suggests they go so far as to buy companies to add to their portfolio to stay ahead of the competition in the geolocation game.

Foursquare has the advantage of being the first service to the game.  They’ve also got the largest user base for this specialty (1M vs. Gowalla’s ~200k).  Where the danger lies is with established properties (like Yelp) that have a loyal following, significantly larger user base, and present an attractive package for acquisition by a larger company that doesn’t currently have a geolocation component (ie Google – and no, Google Latitude or Google Places do not count). If that doesn’t make you go ‘hmmmm’, keep in mind that I haven’t even mentioned Facebook and their 400M+ user base.  You can bet they’re recognizing the geolocation frenzy and soon to do something about it.

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