Tags: Check-in, Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla, Location
I have to admit, 18 months ago, I was dismissive. I didn’t feel that location media would catch on and some would say that it hasn’t really. But, over this time, check-in technology has advanced, user bases have grown and times have changed.
Yesterday, Facebook announced a repositioning of location/check-ins on their platform. This is similar to what we see from Twitter as well and seems to represent “where” location is at relative to social networking. Location is not so much a front and center type of activity, but a layer of social information relative to content. When Facebook launched “Places” last year, many felt this was the end of start-ups like Foursquare or Gowalla. And here we are a year later – Places is no more, and Foursquare has reached the 15M user mark and a fresh round of $600M in funding.
So now the landscape of Check-ins positions location as relevant background with social content, apart from Foursquare, where Check-ins are the focus of the content.
The kicker here as I see it is not really a location “issue”, but the growing and established importance of mobile. The very concept of mobile goes hand in hand with location. With mobile internet use due to outpace desk-top use by 2015 – what was once seen as “the battle for location” is really all about mobile.
User value in Check-ins remains in 2 primary places:
- Deals -”What can I get for checking in?”
- Status – “Look where I am (sports event, concert, etc…)!”
Keep those two values top of mind and have them guide you when looking to leverage location and Check-ins for sports marketing purposes.
Tags: Facebook Deals, Foursquare, Location, Sports Marketing
Yesterday, Facebook announced the launch of Deals. So what is this and why does it matter?
Facebook Deals is focused on mobile and location based social media. You will recall a while back when Facebook announced it’s Places feature – now Deals layers on the ability for Places users to see what kinds of offers are around them as they check in on their mobile device. So for example – on your next trip downtown, you check in at a Starbucks and can see that there is a deal nearby you right now – perhaps a sale on team jerseys at the team store. In you go, and pick a couple jerseys up for holiday gifts.
The value is clear – but consider that a mere 1% of mobile users use any kind of check-in technology right now. So, what’s the big deal?
- Potential – Facebook has over 200 million active mobile users right now. Even 1% of that number is significant and it will likely grow.
- Risk – There is an apprehension for a lot of users surrounding the security/privacy issue of check-ins. Will it be widely adopted just as Tweets and Facebook status updates were? Time will tell…
- Behaviour – In a previous post, I shared the fact that mobile internet use will outpace desktop use by 2015. The mobile battle is underway, and the race to “own” the location services/market is on.
Current location players such as Foursquare, representing a respectable 7M+ users, offer more of a game element with badges and mayorships in addition to the feature of deals and special offers. It remains to be seen how they will respond to Facebook Deals (apparently, new features will arrive at years’ end/Q1 2011).
Lastly, what should you do about this now? My whole position on location has been a wait and see policy. In the last few months, I’ve been a heavy Foursquare user as the announcement of Places and the growth of the Foursquare platform merritted attention. I cautioned sports marketers to include location opportunities in promotions and social projects, but not to focus on them – and for good reason. This is a constantly evolving space (BTW – if your team still has a myspace page, you can take it down now), and investing too much time, energy and (hopefully) sponsor activation dollars may not add up.
The take away – claim your venue or location properties now – here’s how. Keep watching this space and your physical neighbors for what happens and evolves here. This matters.
Tags: Facebook, Foursquare, Goelocation, Sports Marketing
It’s been a couple of weeks since Facebook launched its Places feature – a geolocation function that let’s users identify their location within their social networks. I’ve seen a number of posts and articles by sports marketers about integrating Facebook Places/FourSquare into their promotional mix.
Here’s my 2 cents…
While I will agree that Places/FourSquare presents some interesting and engaging opportunities, my own experience has shown that it’s still the early days for these tools.
FourSquare does have a growing user base, but I’ve found that it still requires a fair amount of education to enable fans to use it effectively in promotions. I’m not suggesting to drop the idea of using it, but right now, my opinion is that the time required to educate and inform is greater than the benefits or rewards.
Moving forward, I would look to include a geolocation feature to a promotion, but would probably hold back on building a promo that only focused solely on that platform. Start small, and look to enhance social projects with a check-in element. For example, if you were building a promo that supported a multi-location sponsor in your market, you could offer a tiered prizing/award structure that offered something for check-ins as well as for entries for less savvy,yet still socially aware/active fans.
Ultimately, the last thing you want to do is create a digital divide. Don’t forget, there are a number of privacy concerns that were raised with this launch. So start small, measure and assess your results and continue to plan from there. Be prepared to teach your fans along the way.