Facebook confirmed on Monday (December 5th) the rumored acquiring of the Texas-based online location service Gowalla.
The plan behind the deal is to hire the talent behind Gowalla and shut the service down completely. They have not purchased the Gowalla technology or service, but rather have hired the team.
Facebook said in a statement, “Gowalla co-founders Josh Williams and Scott Raymond, along with other members of the Gowalla team, are moving to Facebook in January to join our design and engineering teams.”
Neither company would say how many employees Gowalla has or how many would be joining Facebook. They also didn’t comment on what they would be working on together, but from Williams comment in his blog post, signs are pointing to the Facebook Timeline.
Williams said, “The Gowalla Passport has become a record of all the places we’ve visited, the people we were with, the photos we took, and the stories we told. Many of you even use Gowalla like a scrapbook of sorts — a place to keep all those memories.”
What are your thoughts on this announcement? Did you use Gowalla?
Are you a frequent user of smartphone check-in services like Foursquare or Gowalla? I don’t use them because personally, I don’t want people to know where I am. I guess I like going incognito.
Come to find out, I’m not alone. A recent study by Pew shows that only 12% of smartphone users use theses check-in services.
The study shows that 59% of smartphone owners use their phone to access social networking sites, and 15% use their phone to access Twitter. As for sending photos, 80% and sending or receiving texts was 92%.
So, what do you think this study shows? Are check-in services’ popularity slowing down, at a stand still or just getting started? To me it seems when someone first starts using these check-in services it’s fun and exciting, but after awhile, it just gets old.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!
… by Mike Schneider
Location has been hot on the minds of marketers and technologists. Some have even been so bold as to call the ability to know a person’s exact location the holy grail (not really – OK -maybe a piece of the grail).
We do know is that location is a key activity stream in the new era of data-driven personal marketing. This new piece of context gives message makers of all kinds an opportunity to give someone a piece of content that they need at exactly the perfect time. At BlogWorld NY, we will explore three key opportunities with 3 of the world’s top 25 brands: deals, discovery and loyalty.
And the content that is delivered is not just advertising, but that is one critical component. Location-based platforms present a great opportunity to give a person a deal when they need a deal and certainly there is a difference between deals for acquisition and retention. American Express just announced a partnership with SCVNGR that will make this easier. PepsiCo has tried deals with their Loot app.
Content in the place that you want it is key. People are attaching secrets to places on a number of mobile platforms like Yelp, foursquare, Bizzy, foodspotting, Gowalla and more. Disney in particular has been a leader in enhancing the experience of its guests by giving them reasons to check in to every attraction in the park.
Acquiring a customer is expensive for a business so keeping them is paramount. Using innovative ways to get customers to return has been the business of American Express and PepsiCo for years. American Express has introduced new ways to pay, reward and surprise and delight their customers by partnering with location-based services like foursquare and SCVNGR as well as with merchants. PepsiCo has built and participated in a number of loyalty driven initiatives including a social program based on a person’s checkin history.
The co-authors of Location-based Marketing for Dummies, SchneiderMike of allen & gerritsen and Aaron Strout of WCG will lead the discussion with Josh Karpf of PepsiCo, Tom Aronson of Disney and David Wolf of American Express. The panel will be late-night talk show style with Mike hosting the show and Aaron providing color and insight and also keeping his bananas peeled for interesting audience questions via the iPad.
Hope to see you there. If you could ask these brands one question about their location-based initiatives, what would it be?
If you are a business, is it time for you to start paying attention to location based marketing applications like Foursquare
As adoption velocity of social applications appears to be increasing at an increasing rate, chances are that you will be hearing more about companies using applications like Foursquare in innovative ways to answer the basic marketing questions:
- What makes people come to my store and buy something?
- What makes them buy more when they are in my store?
- What makes them come back and buy again once they have left?
And when developing a strategy around these basic marketing questions, it may make a lot of sense to start utilizing location based marketing services to your advantage.