Location-based social networking and shopping applications have stolen the wireless stage during 2010 — and will do so again at the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley’s upcoming Mobile Forum on November 17 — “Check In Here: the Intersection of Hyperlocal and Mobile.” Laurie Lamberth will lead off this event with a 15-minute Analyst Overview, which will cover the history, status, trends and hot players in the LBS social and shopping appsphere.
2010 has been “the year of location services,” at least with respect to consumer applications. In January, first-mover location social network loopt added retail offers and the local review service Yelp! added check-in rewards. March saw the launch of location social networks Foursquare, Gowalla and Plancast at the South-by-Southwest conference. Twitter added location to tweets in April. SCVNGR (“scavenger”) introduced location-based shopping games in May, while local review site Where added check-in rewards. LBS social network Whrrl added check-in rewards in June.
Then came August and a flood of location-based app announcements: Shopkick, ShopAlerts and AisleBuyer announced location-based shopping/bargain services, then Facebook stole the show with the launch of their “Places” service. Facebook made what might be *the* clutch play by announcing automated program interfaces (APIs) into their application from other LBS services including Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp!, allowing these users to post their check-ins and rewards to their Facebook account.
In addition, Facebook rolled out their “Deals” service this week, which appears to compete directly with several of the LBS shopping apps. National brands and local merchants can set up “deals” for their business that are available based on a user’s location and/or check-ins — for free using Facebook’s Places web portal. For example, the first 10,000 Facebook members to check-in at The Gap received a free pair of jeans. (Drat! I need a new pair of jeans!)
I’m looking forward to sharing my research and insights on the location-based apps space at the Telecom Council’s forum next week. Try to attend if you’re going to be in or near the Silicon Valley next Wednesday, November 17. It’s going to be fun, as well as informative.
Hope to see you there!
For more information, or to register for the “Check In Here” Telecom Council forum, click here: http://bit.ly/9Hxsvc