We love this time of year around the lab. March Madness is kicking off and we have our pools and brackets flying around. Everyone picks their favorite team to go all the way, Kentucky seems to be a favorite pick around here. We were inspired this year to submit brackets of our own, only we wanted to concentrate on social media and location based apps.
There seems to be a plethora of apps sprouting up, with SXSW this year I am sure there were a few more. We found 16 apps that are location based apps where you can check-in, shout out, find stuff, rate things and let the world know where you are. We spent hours locked inside the lab ranking our favorite apps. Some of the more popular ones got some high seeds and the newbies were thrown in the mix. The way to win is simple…just vote for your favorite app through our Facebook page and each week the winners will advance until we have a sole surviving app. Yes we know it is a popularity contest, but hey, I guess they need to tell everyone!
So here are the apps we found and short description of each. Which one is your favorite? Come over to our Facebook page and vote!
Foursquare – Earned a number one seed and I can see why. They have been in the forefront of this category for a couple of years. Foursquare is a location-based mobile platform that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. By “checking in” via a smartphone app or SMS, users share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges. Foursquare guides real-world experiences by allowing users to bookmark information about venues that they want to visit and surfacing relevant suggestions about nearby venues. Merchants and brands leverage the foursquare platform by utilizing a wide set of tools to obtain, engage, and retain customers and audiences.
Gowalla – Our other number one seed. With foursquare integration, they are going to be a new favorite, especially here in Texas! Gowalla does more than check in. You can take photos, comment on places friends go, and share highlights from your life. You may also find virtual items left around the world like digital souvenirs. Many items are redeemable for real-world rewards such as apparel, movie tickets, gadgets and more. We make discovering the world around you both fun and memorable. Enjoy trips created by National Geographic, USA TODAY, CNNMoney and others that guide you to restaurants, through parks and gardens, or on historic walking tours. Of course, you can create and share your own trips with your friends as well.
FaceBook Places – They earned our number two seed only because they are facebook. Tough match first round against some Beer dudes! Easily share where you are, what you’re doing and the friends you’re with right from your mobile. Never miss another chance to connect when you happen to be at the same place at the same time. Check in to get individual discounts, share savings with friends, earn rewards for repeat visits or secure donations for good causes.
Loopt – Our other number two seed. Loopt offers a location-first view of the world, shining a bright spotlight on the world around you when you’re out and about. When you open Loopt, you see the world in a more relevant way — you see who’s around, where people are gathering and where people like to go. And because Loopt pulls in data from world’s most popular social graph — Facebook — everyone already has friends on Loopt. Loopt alerts you when a friend is nearby, creating wonderful moments of serendipity that, without Loopt, might never happen.
Locaii – Our other Texas based app! Earning a number three seeds from us, well because they are Dallas based, cool guys and I am having a blast with the app! More than just checking in, they get the conversations started! You can start conversations with your friends and the people around you. Upset about that last call? Wondering if you’re the only one who saw that bear on a unicycle? Post up something interesting and you’re sure to get a conversation started. (We love the polling features!)
Whrrl - Our other number three seed is a location-based, social application for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry designed to help people discover highly relevant new experiences in the real world. Whrrlers join Societies, groups of like-minded people with the same real-world interests, passions and brand affinities to exchange recommendations (new places to go and things to do) and experiences (via photos and notes). Whrrl’s groundbreaking Society Rewards program enables businesses to participate in the discovery experience by offering prizes at places that Whrrlers win by checking in. This drives first-time visits, but Society Rewards goes further in that the most influential people have the best odds of winning the prizes. As such, it is the first real-world social loyalty program.
Mytown - Our number four seed, played by over 3.3 million people, MyTown is the most popular mobile location-based social game that turns the real-world into a game of Monopoly. It’s about buying and owning your favorite stores and hangouts. Level up, unlock rewards, and earn cash to buy your real life locations. (They also offer pay to play options to get rewards.)
Scvngr – Our other number four seed, who doesn’t like a good scavenger hunt? Play SCVNGR everywhere! At your favorite cafe, gym, theater, park, restaurant. Check-in. Try a challenge. Share where you are & what you’re up to with your friends. You deserve ‘em! Do challenges to earn points and unlock badges & real-world rewards.
FoodSpotting - One of our number five seeds. This one is all about food! We love food! A visual guide to good food and where to find it. Foodspotting is the easiest way to find and share the foods you love: Instead of reviewing restaurants, you can recommend your favorite dishes and see what others have recommended wherever you go.
Tunerfish – I know! say that fast three times and everyone will think Tuna! Our second number five seed, this one is all about what you watch! We believe that people are passionate about what they watch – and eager to share that passion with others. We believe that channeling that willingness to share in an easy, fun, and rewarding service is the best way to help you discover great content you might otherwise have missed. We also believe that the line between TV and the Internet is blurring and will eventually be erased – adding dramatically the range of possible answers to the question, “What should I watch right now?”
Gbanga - A late entry entry, but they still managed to get a number 6 seed. Based in Switzerland, they are just starting to catch on here in the states. Gbanga is a mobile platform for hosting an unlimited number of mixed-reality quests that are highly immersive and exciting to play with players around the world. Gbanga blurs reality with fiction, augmenting your daily life with fun gaming experiences. The platform helps you connect with players through quests, challenges and compelling interactive stories on-the-go. In Gbanga, you change the course of the game simply by walking and relocating in the real world.
Brightkite – Our other number six seed, a different twist on the social media angle. Brightkite is the next generation of text messaging. We have created a product that lets you chat with up to 25 people at once, for free. You can also share photos and locations. Brightkite works online and well as on a variety of phones using apps, text messaging and the mobile web.
Beerby – Now this one is one we can get into! Partially because we love beer here in the lab! Beerby is the only beer app you’ll need for your iPhone or Android. Track and take notes about what beers you drink, find good beer near your current location, discover bars that carry your favorite beers, compete with your friends and more! We have a database of over 40,000 beers with ratings for you to discover, track and enjoy. Beerby uses the Levlr game mechanics platform to allow you to compete for Badgers, and create achievements for your friends. Levl up as you discover the world of beer!
Shopkick – This is our other number seven seed. for all of you shop-o-holics out there. Love shopping? Don’t love shopping? Okay, then we have something for both of you. We believe that shopping in the offline world can be done much better than it’s been done for so many years. Why does no one reward you for visiting their stores, only for buying something? Why does nobody make shopping more individual? Where are the offers that really matter to you, especially if you don’t read the Sunday paper? And why is there no fun social sharing and other entertainment when you go to your favorite stores?
GetGlue - I know the name sounds funny, but this is another one for Books, TV, Music and Movies. You earn stickers in this game among other things! GetGlue is a leading social network for entertainment, with more than 900,000 users and 12M new unique ratings and check-ins for TV shows, movies, music and books every month. Fans use GetGlue apps to check-in while consuming entertainment to share with friends and to earn exclusive rewards from our partners.
Toodalu – No need to vote for these rocks stars from last years SXSW. Upon trying to login, the app appears to not be working and even the website is down. All it says is coming soon. Funny I thought you launched last year at SXSW? I guess the market wasn’t big enough for them to make it. Too bad, easy win for Gowalla.
So there you have it, all sixteen entries for our location based march madness app off. Make sure you vote for your favorite app and get them into the next round. We will be asking each one to play also, so maybe they can influence some votes! Good Luck everyone! Don’t Forget, the way to vote is to comment on each picture who is your favorite. Go here to vote!