While targeting local businesses, the geo-social brand has integrated into Facebook's platform in a deeper fashion than Foursquare, Gowalla, or any other location-based company.
SCVNGR just took lead vocal in the "Kumbayah" chorus that's been sounding from location-based platforms since Facebook Places launched five weeks ago.
The Cambridge, MA-based company on Thursday released an app for businesses that allows them to leverage their SCVNGR campaigns on the Places platform. Once installed by a business on its Facebook Places page, the app will appear as a button in the left-hand menu section. Viewers who click the button will be able to access activities sections labeled "Rewards," "Challenges," and "How to Play."
SCVNGR user activity, such as check-ins, challenges, rewards, and photos, will then be mapped back to the business's Facebook Places page, instead of to its SCVNGR page. More specifically, SCVNGR check-ins will appear on the company’s Places page and not just in the general Facebook Places activity stream. All in all, it's likely the most tightly integrated third-party application to be tied to the young Facebook Places platform.
Seth Priebatsch, CEO of SCVNGR, told ClickZ that Places would allow his brand to simultaneously grow its user base and better distribute advertisers' campaigns. Priebatsch said that the Facebook platform would become fertile marketing ground for local businesses who want to connect with consumers that use location-based services. "It's incredible what Facebook Places is doing for location-based services," he added.
What a difference five weeks can make. Leading up to the Facebook Places launch on Aug. 18, marketing watchers predicted doom for SCVNGR and other location-based services like Foursquare, Gowalla, Booyah, Loopt, Whrrl, Brightkite, etc.
Now, those geo-social players are all integrated with Places and trying to capitalize on Facebook's scale of 500 million users. In a recent New York Observer article, Foursquare sounded extremely confident about its chances of withstanding the effects Facebook Places may have on the marketplace.
One of the interesting aspects to watch in the next several weeks is whether or not Foursquare, Gowalla, and others start buying Facebook.com ads to become the leading location-based app on the social site. A SCVNGR ad was spotted yesterday by ClickZ; a company spokesperson said it was a tiny test run that was "nothing major or serious."
Representatives from Whrrl and Brightkite confirmed that they have run Facebook.com ads in the past. A Whrrl spokesperson commented via e-mail yesterday that "you can definitely say we're running Facebook Ads."
At the same time, Foursquare and Booyah reps stated that their marketing teams had not employed Facebook.com ads and didn't have any current plans to jump in.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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