Posts Tagged ‘location-based services’

Coupons or Check-ins

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Geoloqi

With the Google + Groupon deal off the table, it’s just been announced that Google’s releasing its own coupon competitor, Google Offers. Groupon has been rapidly growing and making headlines this past year so it was only a matter of time before Google joined the group-buying fray and appealed to local business advertisers.

However, group buying and location-based services are still in the beginnings of development and are definitely not deemed mainstream yet. By throwing in a bit of game mechanics like reaching a target number of votes to score a deal, or being awarded for the number of check-ins, a wider audience is targeted outside the tech geek circle, including moms. However, the real value lies in, well, value. Sites like Groupon and Living Social are valuable as coupons, but more so as experiences. People might not go bungee jumping or macaroon making until the experience is set before them with a decent price tag.

We’re expecting to see group buying sites and check-ins become much more personalized with applications like Geoloqi, where automatic check-ins and functions like your grocery list popping up as you enter the market are set in place. If group buying and location-based services become staple tools for the everyday person running errands, retailers can tap into a real-time database where sharing your location and what you buy becomes mainstream. If it becomes useful enough, people will adopt it, influencing long-term mainstream consumer behavior.

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Becoming Mayor

Monday, March 29th, 2010

foursquare, gowalla, google latitude, twitterWhile standing in line for the restroom at CTIA Wireless, a person joked about whether we were going to check in and become mayor of the restroom. Location-based applications are this year’s trending topic, especially at events like SXSW and CTIA. To see which ones worked best, we experimented with Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Latitude, and Twitter’s new geotagging feature. Here are the results from our study:

Foursquare: If Yelp and Twitter merged and became a game, it would be Foursquare. Foursquare is centered on letting your friends know where you are, giving tips about that location and vice versa – most times this relates to restaurants. We like Foursquare because it gives incentive to check in, not just for virtual badges and “mayor” entitlement (title earned from checking into a place the most), but for real discounts. We’d say Foursquare works the best for social foodies and people constantly on the go who are looking for tips from their wide network of friends.

Gowalla: Gowalla is definitely the most aesthetically pleasing of the four. And unlike the rest, it functions mainly as a geocaching scavenger hunt game. Checking in requires the player to be in an exact location, not just anywhere within the proximity of the venue. The objective is to collect as many stamps in your passport as possible. Gowalla works best for gamers who are out and discovering new places, not sitting in their parent’s basement staring at the computer screen.

Google Latitude: Google latitude basically pinpoints you and your friends’ locations on Google maps. It’s cool to see your friends’ actual location on a map, but why would you need to? We suppose this app would work best for paranoid parents who need to know where their children are at all times.

Twitter: Although Twitter’s geotagging function is similar to Google latitude where the location of the user is pinpointed on a Google map, we find Twitter’s function more useful since it pairs a tweet with a location.  Avid tweeters who want location sharing without the fuss should stick with Twitter.

All four applications cater to different user personalities. We’d like to see Facebook integrate location sharing, and perhaps even make a game out of it. In reality, Facebook is the most accurate representation of our real friends, which is who we want to follow. The good news is, we hear they’re already working on it.

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