500 Million Users + Location Based Services = Opportunity

by Kate Rados

Sitting here, waiting on the live announcement of Facebook Places, a location-based check in system, integrated into their social platform. As most of you know, I’ve been loudly shouting about the merits of LBS apps like Foursquare, Gowalla, MyTown, and the new SCVNGR (which, I’m still not fond of yet. I’ll check in, but don’t make me do stunts for points that get me nowhere.)

And while I haven’t checked into Foursquare in about a week (I blame AT&&T and their crappy network for my frustrations) and though I’m on level 37 of MyTown, but haven’t built anything in over a month (again, ATT.), I’m actually excited about this announcement.

Why? Because it’s a network of 500 MILLION Users. Users who read online. Users who purchase content in any form.

(about 15 mins later…)

So they’ve announced partnerships with most of the apps I mentioned above: Foursquare, Gowalla, Booyah (which runs MyTown, but will be launching the new ‘InCrowd’), and Yelp. This, my friends, could be a major opportunity.

You can read more about it here and here. I won’t cover it point by point because I’ve only got about 10 mins of laptop juice. And I’m not a reporter. Not even a good note taker.

Anyway, I tweeted this earlier, but it bears repeating:

‘I just hope the industry is listening. My fear is that they are not. They’re still worried about a NYTimes Book Review ad.’

Comes off a little flippant, yes, but I am sincere. I saw only maybe a handful of publishing peeps actually tweeting and chatting about this in real time. Yeah, they could just not be on Twitter.  But I wonder if the people who need to rethink their marketing, reconfigure their events, and rework their audience development — in order to sell content and keep the business running — are paying attention. Hope so. Because this #mktgnerd is giddy with ideas. And still blaming AT&T.