What a week for @Dens @naveen @tristanwalker and the @Foursquare team. From @Mashable and @CNN partnerships to securing another round of venture capital, last week Foursquare was on a roll. Over at camp @Gowalla they posted a lengthy blog post about their focus and World Cup badges. Team @TriOut launched a HTML5 check-in web app and @Standford is graduating with the @Loopt Star app. Also a few other location based services made some news this week along with a ton of blog post still debating the value of location-based services. Here’s a list of location-based news from last week.
TLC + Foursquare = New Tips and Badges for Summer
TLC’s Foursquare integration will help users find venues conducive to enjoying the warm weather, including barbecue restaurants, zoos, amusement parks, swimming pools and the like. Users will be able to earn the TLC Summer badge by checking in at any TLC Summer-tagged location.
Checking in? Follow Mashable on Foursquare
Mashable is partnering with Foursquare to give you insider tips and recommendations when you check in. From New York City to Silicon Valley, our reporters and editors will be your guide as you explore your city.
Keeping focused affects the development schedule, which features we implement and which we trim. It affects which spots get featured sooner rather than later, which promotions we engage and which we table, all via the filter of ‘Does this help make Gowalla the easiest way to share the places you go with friends?’ And we do our best to answer that question honestly: Adding a function within Gowalla that gives you hints at where to find items you’re missing might not necessarily help Gowalla be the easiest way to share places with friends, but adding the ability to upload photos at a spot–now that’s something that will help you share the places you go!
For graduating students, Commencement can feel like a whirlwind of events and goodbyes. But this year they’ll have a new tool to help them get the most out of Commencement Weekend: a social mapping application (and mobile rewards game) known as Loopt Star. Students who download the Loopt Star application onto their iPhone or iPod Touch will be able to follow their friends and earn a special Class of 2010 graduation gift by checking in to multiple Commencement events.
Location Based Services: Where’s the beef?
The real value of course, outside of the tangible benefits of coupons, loyalty programs, gifts and savings, is on the social side of things and the convenience side. Imagine you’ve just finished dinner and you want to get a drink or a cup of coffee someplace else. Again, using TriOut as an example, you’d simply go to the app, or the mobile site in a browser if you prefer, and you’d see a list of those places close by. A quick tap and you’d see what your friends think of the places, see photos of the venue, available menu items, etc. That’s convenience.
Flook Builds Location-based Offers Right Into Its App
The partnership with voucher, sale and discount search engine Geocast, which it will formally announce later today, sees Flook automatically select the relevant offers from Geocast’s catalogue for inclusion in Flook’s content stream. BView vouchers will be presented as just as any other content is within the app. “Booking forms” will be built in, allowing users to take advantage of the offers without leaving the app.
Is this Foursquare or Bore-square?
One part of the experiment was becoming a mayor. I wanted to see what happened when you were crowned king of a location. This happened fairly quickly when I was the first Foursquare visitor to a local barbecue joint. “How sad. This location has no mayor” it reported. So the next day I went back and became the mayor. Great for the restaurant but what did I get out of it? An electronic award. Hmmm.
While they might not be a marketing goldmine for higher ed, location-based services are far from dead in the water. But let’s face it, we’re not Starbucks and we’re not giving out frappacinos. You’re welcome to keep the technology on your radar, but for now keep it out of your marketing playbook.
The future for Foursquare will be defined by adding more value to service, which Crowley says will happen through more partnerships and more sophisticated features. The hope is that the company can engineer ways to encourage interactions between users who are checked-in to the same venue.
Foursquare Stats: The Importance of Check-In Time
These are only a few of the benefits to knowing when your customers are checking-in at your venue on foursquare. Keeping a close eye on the Time Breakdown section of foursquare Stats is extremely easy, and very useful.
Geotoko gives businesses a dashboard, where they can create a designated site for a promotional campaign. That site will then aggregate check-in and geolocation info from Foursquare, Twitter and Gowalla (with Brightkite, Facebook and others to follow) for the business’ location along with the details of a campaign or promotion- such as prizes, free gifts, etc.
Yelp & Foursquare: Utility vs. Hipster Chic
You may or may not agree with that perspective. I’ll offer a kind of ironic rejoinder to that view: Yelp, by adopting check-ins and badges, is now exposing a much larger audience to these game concepts and thereby potentially helping to mainstream them. By copying Foursquare, Yelp could be helping the site ultimately by “acculturating” people to LBS gaming.
Only 10% Of Businesses Would Pay For Foursquare: Survey
Only 10% of businesses that are currently using Foursquare as a free marketing tool are willing to pay for the service; that’s one of the interesting survey results presented last week during the “Location Services: The New Local Search?” session at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle.
Andreessen Horowitz To Win The Foursquare Investor Badge
Andreessen Horowitz, despite rumors that they were pulling out of discussions with the company weeks ago over concerns that too much information was leaking to the press, is the last venture capitalist standing. The fact that founding partner Marc Andreessen is on the board of directors of Facebook, a key partner or competitor of Foursquare, may be the factor that put them over the top.
This week I downloaded a new Yelp app onto my iPhone. In it Yelp included a copy of Foursquare’s badges, which reward people for checking in frequently. Sometimes you might get a swarm badge for checking into someplace that has a lot of other users checked in too.
The second announcement was the launch of the new mobile experience for Android and iPhone users at http://mobile.TriOutNC.com. The new mobile experince is an HTML5 web app built on the new API. With http://mobile.TriOutNC.com it brings an entirely different look and feel to TriOut and focuses on a faster check-in experience, a better way to see your friends activity, finding nearby places, and upcoming events.
Location-based post on SocialWayne.com
Google announces location-based search tagging and post coupon feature. Will Google Latitude be the most important LBS?
Did you read any interesting location-based articles last week or have a comment about any of the above articles? Let me know in the comments.