In the check-ins space trade media casts Foursquare and Gowall as archrivals, in spite of principals from each service downplaying the competition. Both will compete for marketing dollars to be sure, but each consider their platform a departure from the others in focus, with Foursquare focusing on rewards and game mechanics and Gowalla emphasizing the discovery/touring experience. Gowalla further punctuated this point by integrating Foursquare into its latest release. This is a great move and should be directional advice for anyone in the space. By building great APIs Foursquare has advanced its role and value in the ecosystem as a platform. With Gowalla they get greater distribution and metadata passed back to its services on what consumers want. Gowalla also has APIs and it was only a matter of time before a third party integrated the two services into a mash-up app. Already, forward-thinking services like Geotoko are providing one-stop anaylitics and services for Foursquare and Gowalla. In the web2.0 space it’s smart to move quickly on the buy/build/borrow decision towards the goal of offering greatest utility.
Here’s a quick video with Andy Ellwood from Gowalla when he dropped into Real Branding back in July during the GeoLoco conference sharing their focus on utility, user experience and the social benefits of sharing those with friends and your networks:
We believe the geo-location space and services are nascent and that it is very early days. It’s great that we’ve got so many smart & dedicated resources working on winning solutions for consumers and ultimately marketers. That’s why I believe there’s a bigger story here than simply one versus another slugging it out for a single-winner scenario. Stay tuned.