Gowalla announced its new compatibility with Foursquare and Facebook Places yesterday, just in time for a national roll-out of its local ad program, said Josh Williams, CEO for the location-based service. Dubbed “Stamp Calendar,” the program has so far only been available for ad purchases in New York, San Francisco, and Gowalla’s home base of Austin, TX. “We are opening that program up to not just those three cities but everywhere,” Williams told ClickZ on Thursday. “You will see that change happen likely in the next week or so.”
While his company announced the Stamp Calendar five weeks ago and has since then been selling dates for New York, San Francisco, and Austin, it doesn’t go live as a promotional platform until Jan. 1. Each city’s calendar offers one marketing slot per day that starts at $5 for the first day and increases $5 in cost each day thereafter. For instance, in each city, a placement on Jan. 1 costs $5, Jan. 2 costs $10, Jan. 3 is $15, and so on, all the way up to December 31, 2011, when the cost of an ad will be $1,825.
Williams said local and national advertisers should find Gowalla a more attractive platform now that it’s heavily integrated with Foursquare and Facebook Places in what the company is calling a “universal activity feed.” Recent brand advertisers include Disney, Chevrolet, and Cirque du Soleil, the CEO said.
“I think the biggest thing is providing additional reach,” he said. “We are giving more distribution to those advertisers, and more eyeballs at the same time.”
More eyeballs indeed. Gowalla boasts 600,000 app users, while Foursquare has around 4 million and Facebook Places reportedly has 30 million. As part of its Gowalla 3.0 unveiling, users with friends on Foursquare or Facebook Places will now be able to transmit check-ins on those platforms, as well as via Twitter and Tumblr. In addition, they’ll be able to see those friends’ check-ins via the Gowalla app.
Another new engagement feature called “Notes” lets Gowalla users leave short messages for friends checking in at specific locations. Unlike Foursquare’s message-board-style tips platform, the notes can only be left for one person.
Gowalla 3.0 is initially only for iPhone users. During the coming months, according to Gowalla, the upgrades will be rolled out for Android, iPads, Blackberry, and Palm smart phones.
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