Home  › Media › Mobile

Why Facebook Places Will Kill Other Check-in Apps

  |  May 20, 2011   |  Comments

If you are going to test check-ins, test it with the market leader.

As any family member will tell you, I only bet when I'm dead wrong. At the turn of the century, for example, I was certain that AOL would soon go out of business. My prediction that SMS and email messaging would ultimately merge in my last column generated a lot of valid counter-arguments. Undaunted, I forge on with this prediction: Facebook Places will be the category killer of check-in apps.

There are a plethora of check-in apps, otherwise known as location-based social networks (LBSN), such as Foursquare, Gowalla, and Google Latitude, each fighting for market share. They offer a variety of incentives for checking in, allowing users to announce their whereabouts to their social networks, find nearby retailers, receive coupons, accumulate points/stamps/rewards, and play location-based games.

In his witty article on ReadWriteWeb, "2011: The Year Check-In Died," Mark Watkins opines, "In 2011, a service that's just about check-ins is going to struggle (best case) or die (worst case). Those that succeed need to find a stronger motivation than badges and self-branding to thrive…That might come in the form of coupons and discounts, but that will run into trouble with the likes of Groupon and Facebook, both of which have far larger distribution."

Hence the advantage of Facebook, particularly in light of Facebook Places Deals, which allows businesses to tie an offer to their location listing and check in. (It is particularly gratifying to see charitable donations as a reward, a practice I think is brilliant and first-rate social currency.)

Other significant advantages of Facebook Places:

  • Facebook is integrated into users' lives
  • Facebook for mobile is the most downloaded app on the planet
  • Places is integrated into the app
  • Places complements business' social media efforts

Facebook Places went from zero to the dominant player in less than a year. Launched in August 2010, it has approximately 42 percent of U.S. market share, according to a White Horse Digital Futures Group survey, reported in "Lost in Geolocation: Why Consumers Haven't Bought It, and How Marketers Can Fix It." Although the study also found users' primary motivations to be "Connection to other people I know or could meet" and "Finding a place liked by people I trust," I feel this is more a reflection of the lack of solid offers available to date.

So there it is, my prediction and recommendation that if you are going to test check-ins, test it with the market leader. What's your prediction? (Facebook haters: please see this article.)

ClickZ Live Chicago Learn Digital Marketing Insights From Leading Brands!
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda, or register and attend one of the best ClickZ events yet!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melinda Krueger

Melinda Krueger is a senior marketing consultant with ExactTarget and a digital marketing veteran – starting with direct, moving to interactive, specializing in e-mail, and now charting a course for mobile marketing. Working with the best agencies in the business, she has helped Harley-Davidson, Miller Brewing, Sears/Kmart, CDW, and many others build their interactive marketing programs. Melinda holds an MBA from Marquette University and is a highly-rated speaker for professional organizations and business schools. As the Email Diva, Melinda answered questions on all aspects of the practice. Your questions about mobile are welcome!

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.

WEBINARS

Jobs