We just covered 5 Weak Points of Location Sharing Services that may hold it from hitting mainstream adoption but million of users are already utilizing Location Based Services for their benefit. Even with certain shortcomings, Location Based Services have got enormous power to fuel the next wave in social networking.
Here we take a look at Top 10 Location Based Services that are looking to make Location Sharing a worldwide phenomenon.
Top 10 Location Based Service Providers:
The Location Sharing Service which made it big is Foursquare. This service makes Location Sharing fun by awarding points & badges to its users for check-ins at venues. Foursquare co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai met in 2007 while working in the same office space (at different companies) in New York City. Working from Dennis’ kitchen table in New York’s East Village, they began building the first version of foursquare in fall 2008, and launched it at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas in March 2009. As of December 2010, 5 millions users worldwide are using Foursquare, if you aren’t then hop in.
Facebook announced Places on August 18, 2010. It is a feature that lets users “check in” to Facebook using a mobile device to let a user’s friends know where they are at the moment. As a feature of the world’s most powerful social network, makes it one of the most powerful Location Sharing Service. It is yet to roll out outside US & UK. So expect some real big strides from the big daddy this year.
3. Google Latitude
One of the FourSquare co-founders, Dennis Crowley created a project named Dodgeball, which Google bought in 2005 & shut down in 2009, replacing it with Google Latitude. Latitude allows a mobile phone user to allow certain people to view their current location. It’s a killer service because of its integration with Google Maps.
Gowalla is another service that allow Users to ‘check in’ at Spots in their local vicinity, either through a dedicated mobile application or through the mobile website. As a reward users will sometimes receive items from check-ins. Winner of the Mobile category in the 2010 South By Southwest Interactive awards, backed up by approximately 600,000 active users as of November 2010 & Funded by venture capitalist Greylock Partners led by angel investors like Chris Sacca, Kevin Rose and Jason Calacanis, it sure holds promise for a future explosion.
The new age social network, Twitter is growing at a rapid pace & integrating new features alongside. Along with posting Tweets users can share their location too. Since its launch in July 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Twitter has gained popularity worldwide & currently has more than 175 million users, generating 65 million tweets a day and handling over 800,000 search queries per day. It is sometimes described as the “SMS of the Internet.”
Yelp got its name as a contraction of Yellow Pages. Yelp provides online local search capabilities for its visitors. A typical search includes what the user is seeking (e.g. a barber shop) and the location from which the search is to be performed, entered as a specific address, neighborhood, city/state combination, or zip code. Each business listing result contains a 5-point rating, reviews from other site visitors, and details such as the business address, hours, accessibility, and parking. Site visitors can aid in keeping the business listings up to date, with moderator approval, and business owners can directly update their own business’ listing information
ShopKick was founded in summer of 2009 by ex-employees of major companies like Google, Palm, CBS Mobile, Loopt, TellMe/Microsoft, GoldPocket Wireless, 12snap, CommerceFlow, Rojo, LindenLab, etc. Powered by the belief that shopping can be a much better experience than it is today, they all came together to improve shopping for users in the physical world.
Featured by Mashable in Top 10 Apps To Watch in 2011. Although its not as big as Foursquare of Facebook Places but its all set to gain mass adoption in the near future.
Being single is tough. Skout can make it a little easier. You can flirt, chat, maybe even find a date through Skout. You and other Skouters belong to a community of singles who are ready to chat online, then meet in the real world. Skout is the first-ever Social Dating Application!
With Skout, you can find interesting singles close-by, strike up a conversation, maybe grab a drink or share a cup of coffee with one of them and make a new friend. You can tell potential love interests what you’re all about by posting mobile pictures or notes. And it’s 100% up to you if you want to make contact with someone — or if you want to respond to someone who is trying to make contact with you.
SCVNGR is a social location-based gaming platform for mobile phones. SCVNGR is a game. Playing is simple: Go places. Do challenges. Earn points and unlock rewards! (Think free coffee!). By going places and doing challenges, players can earn points, unlock badges and real-world rewards, such as discounts or free items. They are also able to broadcast where they are and what they’re up to their friends on Facebook and Twitter.
As of June 2010, Over 1000 companies, educational institutions, and organizations have built on SCVNGR by creating challenges (and often rewards) at their locations
Loopt is the best way to see what’s happening around you – which friends (from Loopt and Facebook) are nearby, which bars are hopping, and which restaurants your friends like to go to. Use Loopt’s free location-based text messaging (“Ping”) to connect with friends, and find places to go, when you’re out and about. It was founded in 2005 & funded by Y Combinator. Today, Loopt has become an essential app for more than 4 million people who want to find the people and places around them.
If you aren’t using Location Based Services yet, then its time to get started which is all set to become the next big thing in the social networking space. If you are familiar with more cool Location Based Service do let us know in the comments.