Saturday, August 28, 2010

Location, Location, and ... Location

So I heard from real estate agent about top 3 things to consider when buying a property. These days I find location when I read about Social Network. What's going on? What has Social Network got to do with location?

It seems there are good reasons for Social Network sites to be interested in location info. From Facebook's perspective, the reason is clear. They can use location info to serve more targetted ads, fast growing revenue that will compete directly with Google's internet ad dominance. Not only that, Facebook can push custom coupons if you are near newly opened neighborhood restaurant using iPhone's push technology. Advertising in 21 centry. It won't get much better than that.

I'm sure updated Facebook mobile users seeing new icon in the middle of screen called Places. It allows Facebook users to make status update with their location info included. I-am-at-cafe message on Facebook using your mobile's GPS location, basically. Hmm... let's see, why would anyone announce their daily routine all the friends on your Facebook? So that burglar can know when to safely target the house?

It turns out that there are already about 3 million people doing exactly these with sites like Foursquare and Gowalla. You might ask why, and I wonder about that too. What prompts 3 million users to announce to the world where they are? Good question, but I would leave that question to be answered by Sociologist Ph.D. candidate (Here is Facebook's attempt to answering that question).

What's going to be interesting is whether these 3 million users will stay with Foursqure and Gowalla or move to Facebook. My bet is good majority of 3 million Foursqure and Gowalla users are also using Facebook, part of 150 million mobile Facebook users. Would they continue to use Foursquare and Gowalla when Facebook Places are already connected to 500 million Facebook users?

Good luck to Foursquare and Gowalla. It will be a tough fight.

1 comment:

  1. I forgot to mention that Economist ran an small article on Foursquare/Gowalla and Facebook Places. It's interesting that Economist brought up some current challenges with location-based blogging such as fradulent checkins and privacy concerns, but agreed on future prospect for collecting location data and using it to enhance marketing effectiveness.