FB Deals, 4SQ, Whrrl & other location based apps – and what it means to you

location based apps Facebook Deals announced. Saw Foursquare, Whrrl, Scvngr and Gowalla at Ad:tech. And why this matters to you: you will get free gas, movie tickets and jeans – and other stuff! I just spent two days at Ad:tech conference, learning more about the internet advertising and marketing, and my very specific interest in participating was to learn more about geo-location based social shopper marketing and hear some of the best case studies so far. Ironically the best case study presented at the conference was presented by Casey Petersen of MurphyUSA and John Kim of Pelago, which owns Whrrl-application. I say ironic – because MurphyUSA is one of my clients at Collective Bias, and I have been closely following and been a very small part of the best case study for geo-location based social shopper marketing. I don’t want to go too deeply in the subject of geo-location based social shopper marketing from the marketing perspective – but I want to explain what this development means to you and why you should care about Whrrl, Foursquare, Gowalla and Scvngr, and now Facebook Deals. Many people who resist using location based apps in their phones feel like why should anyone care where they are, or better yet – why would you want to share your location with your social network? At the same time – many of these people are already now finding information with their phones about products and places while they are out and about. The product and restaurant reviews are literally in your fingertips, finding product prices and reserving event tickets is easy, and you can even check in your flight with your phone. I heard several times this week many people saying that using location based apps isn’t only about checking in – it is also about checking out . Now instead of only reading the restaurant reviews from people you don’t even know, with location based apps, you can actually see which of your friends recommend the place and read their reviews. With Whrrl you can join societies of like minded people, whose recommendations and reviews are relevant to you. The information instantly becomes more relevant when it is from someone you know, and that’s a big difference between using just any app to find local information and using social location based apps. Now – we want to find out information and share it with friends, but we also want the relevant information to find us, right? NEW PLACES & EXPERIENCES FIND US I checked-in with Foursquare in a small upstate New York town, and instantly saw that a close by boutique offered 20% off your entire purchase if you checked in and bought something on your visit that day. Now, 20% off was a good enough discount for me to walk a block and check out the boutique, even though I didn’t buy anything at that time. The boutique was nice, and I would go there again and without Foursquare I wouldn’t have ever gone there. On another occasion I checked in a new restaurant chain on Whrrl, and instantly one of my friends recommended me a dish – and what not to order. GET FREE STUFF AND HAVE MORE FUN MurphyUSA is a gas station and convenient store chain, and they wanted to make pumping gas more fun and they launched a Whrrl society and check-in to win rewards. Now fueling has become more fun, and people can win everything from Coke to movie tickets (Due Date promo going on right now) or a free tank of gas. Facebook Deals just launched this week and GAP was the first one to partner with Facebook to use it. If you check in today with Facebook Places at GAP you might get free jeans. I don’t know about you, but getting a free product from the stores you already visit makes it more fun and rewarding – and it does entice me to try out new places too. CLICK AND PAY – NO WAITING IN LINES A new application AisleBuyer from Boston also let’s you check out the products you are buying without waiting in line. Now – not only you can check out prices of the products, read your friends recommendations, but you can also skip waiting in line and just go to store, pick up the stuff you want, pay with your phone and go. I SAVE – YOU SAVE You have probably heard of Groupon – it’s a service that offers group discounts to its members. Soon you are able to get group discounts with some of the location based apps when you check in at the same time with your friends. Think of it – one day you will be able to purchase products or see movies on a cheaper price depending the amount of friends you are able to bring with you. The virtual apps are really making us more social in real life too. Do you use any of the apps mentioned? Which ones? What do you think is the best reason for you using them? Do you have fun examples how location based apps have enriched your life?
  1. here’s my issue. There are just too many places to check in. I mean, I checked in at GAP yesterday on Facebook and got the free jeans. Then I had to check in on foursquare because I’m close to being mayor and GAP is so social that I do expect them to do a 4Sq promo soon. And then I considered checking in on Whrrl and Gowalla… but I had to pick up my kid at preschool and all these check-ins take time. (Plus, I really start to look like an idiot, stopping to wait for my phone to search, refresh and find the right place.)

    I know, competition is healthy. And I hate to root against a company and encourage a monopoly, but, really? The market is over-saturated in check-in-spots. Someone is going to have to pull through and be the clear winner.

    My opinion? I like 4Sq best. I don’t have to bother the world with my check-ins showing up in their stream on Facebook or twitter if I don’t want to. And its more of a game there. I like that. Facebook offered a great deal yesterday. As long as they keep offering great deals, I’ll check in then. But I just can’t stand flooding streams with pointless check-ins. The others? Well, they aren’t offering enough for my time.

    Oh. And the whole Groupon/Living Social/Woot/todays-best-deal-site-and-emails thing. Again, too many to subscribe to. Too many companies offering “amazing” opportunities to get my money. I’m all about Spaving, but there’s a time that we spave too much, and our money is just being wasted on “I have to buy this NOW!” deals. Of course, I also feel the need to be in the know, so I do check them all daily. Or a lot of them. For now.

  2. I don’t use any of these applications at present. I can see the utility in some cases, particularly when you are at conferences, or for younger people who are always wanting to keep track of where there friends are when they’re out on the town or whatever. But as a mom, it seems . . . odd. I am still thinking about whether or not I’m going to start using it for myself.

  3. I use FourSquare just about every time I leave the house :) I’m a Twitter/Facebook addict… (social media enthusiast sounds better, huh? LOL) so FourSqaure is a cool way to expand the possibilities with social media. Also, I love that when we go to Chili’s I can get free chips/salsa just for checking in LOL!

  4. Katja,
    Love this post. I have been using Groupon (Gap Deal and a sale saved me a ton of money!), Whirrl and Foursquare heavily. Aislebuyer is new for me, but I am going to be trying it out.

  5. The apps I use most are FourSquare and Whrrl. I love Foursquare because you can offer up tips, find great deals and brag about being the Mayor. LOL.
    Whrrl is fun because it is like telling a story with photos. I just need to start using it more now that it is an app for Android.
    I’ve been wanting to try out Gowalla. Will let you know what I think of it.

  6. I use them all. I’m actually sort of a Whrrl and FourSquare junkie. I think it’s very “big brother” but then again it’s one of those things you need to think about and choose for yourself.

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