A Location-Based Services Primer

A witty cheat sheet for the location-based service landscape, the introduction of a new automatic check-in app, and potential brand implications.

This witty location-based service cheat sheet reminded us that there are still several services out there that haven’t hit the mainstream press or in as significant volume as Foursquare, but that are instaed built around narrower, more niche interests and behaviors. It’s also worth noting how this will continue to evolve as new, differentiated players continue to hit the market, including MapHook and Face2Face, which we discussed here last week.

Another recent entrant to the location-based service category is Future Checkin. Future Checkin eliminates the need for you to check-in manually – and risk ‘check-in fatigue’ – by allowing the app to check you as iOS4 detects your proximity to your favorite Foursquare locations and automatically checks you in. Signing in to the app with your Foursquare account will show you a list of Foursquare venues nearby, or allow you to search and mark your  ‘favorites’. Creating a comprehensive Favorites list is key, as these are the venues you will be automatically checked-in to when you get close enough to them (within 300 meters).

With Gowalla integration coming soon, the next question is whether Foursquare itself will provide automatic check-in in the near future. Also, what are the brand messaging implications of passive check-ins? If you’re not as inclined to check in, will it make you less attentive or receptive to that location offering you a purchase incentive? Brands – and the services themselves – may have to develop more creative ways to notify visitors of incentives, if their interaction to check in on their phone is reduced.

a&g’s Location-Based Services Cheat Sheet

[via TechCrunch]

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