Ask any marketer about trends for 2011 and you’ll undoubtedly hear the phrase “location-based services.” However, among Foursquare, Facebook Places, SCVNGR, Gowalla and many others, marketers have a lot to choose from.
What are location-based services?
Location-based services allow users to connect with others based on their current locations. In most cases, people use their smartphones (iPhone, Android, Blackberry) to “check in” to businesses like restaurants, bars and stores they visit. These locations are then broadcasted to their online friends.
Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention.
What’s New This Week?
Facebook Deals Go Local: Businesses can now offer discounts to their local markets through Facebook Deals. And Facebook will be publishing these Deals stories in the Facebook feeds of your customers. This new service puts Facebook into direct competition with Groupon.
These loyal fans now have an arguably easier way of showing their support—and connecting with each other—through Foursquare.
In a pilot for the 2010 football season, the NFL team rolled out Foursquare as a way to reward fans for attending home games or rallies during out-of-town games.
Geolocation is one of the hottest trends in social networking today. Users enjoy connecting with friends at nearby locations. Businesses are beginning to take note of the opportunity to tie their brick-and-mortar locations to their online marketing.
As users provide more information about their location, serious privacy implications are beginning to surface. For instance, a Webroot study released in July 2010 found that more than half of survey respondents who used geolocation services were worried their privacy was at risk.
You know the location wars are heating up when a simple search for “Foursquare vs. Gowalla” returns millions of results. And then there’s MyTown. Which of these is right for your helping your local business?
The two hottest location-based social networks—Foursquare and Gowalla—are taking different approaches to the market, and seeing unique uptake patterns as a result. While these companies have repeatedly said they don’t view each other as competitors, the activities on networks are similar.
What’s more, several other companies are making the case to be included in the discussion about the top location-based network, including Booyah’s MyTown, which has more users than Foursquare and Gowalla combined.