Location-based check-in services aren’t as big as they appear to be from the hype, but still, companies are clamoring to take over the space. Foursquare has been the high-profile leader for awhile but there are folks that prefer Gowalla’s interface and then there are those who don’t leave Facebook for anything. That’s why Gowalla has decided to run with the old adage, “if you can’t beat them, join them.”
Gowalla’s latest update allows the user to see the check-in updates of their friends, even if they’re using rivals Foursquare, Facebook, even Twitter and Tumblr.
“Increasingly people have friends on Facebook and Places, and they want to keep up with Deals and the things that are going on there. There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t be able to have your cake and eat it, too. (We were) like, let’s let them connect with their friends on other services as well, and create a hub for all that.”
Gowalla also upgraded their system to make checking in easier with a quick tap system that auto fills much of the needed info. Other new features include the ability to easily see location “highlights” from other Gowalla users and “tips” from Foursquare users. Other new features include the ability to bookmark places you want to return to or visit in the future and a notes program that allows you to leave a note for a specific person the next time they check-in at that location.
“Frank, don’t order the chicken salad if Henry is working. Trust me.”
I don’t know if the folks at Foursquare will be unhappy or indifferent about this piggybacking move by their competitor but for consumers it’s a great answer to an ever increasing problem. With so many different kinds of social sites and activities, finding ways to combine and filter the streams is always top on the list.
What do you think of Gowalla’s move to include Foursquare. Good business or desperate attempt to stay afloat?