Location, Location, Location – August 4, 2010

Check-in apps that run in the background are apparently becoming the new black. To that end, Shopkick is a new location-based app (soon to be released) that indeed runs in the background of your iPhone, and checks you in at specific retail locations like Best Buy, where you can get instant rewards. Unlike Future Checkin, the app we mentioned yesterday that checks you into your favorite Foursquare locations without you having to physically Check In, Shopkick actually verifies that you are in the store your phone’s location claims you are in, before checking you in and giving you any juicy deals the appropriate retailer has to offer. Interesting twist on location [Mashable]

We’ve seen several apps that attempt to aggregate check-ins across services on the user side, but Geotoko is a new tool for the marketer side that lets companies manage campaigns across platforms including Foursquare and Gowalla, and even Twitter and Yelp. Essentially it means that if you’re a business (likely a large business) that wants to run a location-based marketing campaign, you don’t have to choose one app/platform over the others – you can have your cake and eat it too. Neat. [Mashable]

And while we’re on the topic of new location-based apps, Hotlist is a new one that isn’t quite like the others. In fact, it’s actually not a check-in app at all and it doesn’t care where you are in the world (unless you want it to, of course). What it does is – it pulls from Facebook and Twitter to let you know where your friends are PLANNING ON going and what they’re PLANNING ON doing. [Press Release]

One more for good measure – MeetMOI is a new Android app that alerts users when a potential romantic match is in their general vicinity, daring them to make a connection face-to-face. It certainly is an interesting take on dating in the 21st century, but given the potential for stalking (see Mediapost story below), unless they have some solid abuse reporting function, I’m not so sure this type of thing will catch on anytime soon. But then, who really knows… [Press Release]

Just a quick story on one woman’s “success” promoting her small pop-up store on Foursquare. Her offer, which brought in some like-minded users, was a free cup of Japanese green tea just for checking-in and leaving a tip. Something so simple, yet, because others weren’t doing it, she was able to capitalize – finding success through Foursquare that she wasn’t necessarily getting through blog outreach, Facebook or Twitter [WSJ]

Yesterday, we highlighted a new [sort of] check-in app called FutureCheckin that ran in the background on your iPhone, checking you in at your favorite Foursquare venues so you didn’t actually have to pull your phone out and physically hit “Check In Here.” But, as this post points out – that probably isn’t going to work very well, at least not in cities. See, the app specifies a check-in radius of 300 meters, which is apparently about four city blocks. Within four city blocks, you could have several different favorite venues, especially if say, you work in the area where you are standing. Plus, for geolocation in the background, Apple made it so that your iPhone uses cell tower triangulation to “locate” where you are, which is regularly inaccurate (not by miles, but by enough that it would complicate using the Future Checkin app). Read more, here —> [TechCrunch]

It seems logical to assume that Foursquare’s 4-to-1 male to female ratio is probably due to concerns about privacy and stalking. I’m sure we’ve all read at least one or two posts/articles on these here interwebs about female Foursquare users being stalked in some form – whether the threat be imminent and serious or just creepy enough to spook your average human. I’ve even seen it first hand, with a situation that I won’t go into here. Which leads me to my comment on this notion – Why doesn’t Foursquare have a “Report User” button? Or at least some type of complaint system. Given the ability to use the service in furtherance of ill motives, you’d think they’d have something in place…or maybe I just missed it? [MediaPost]

Not location-based check-in service news, but EveryBlock, the app (owned by MSNBC) that aggregates local news content is now offering a widget that shows an EveryBlock feed of all content local to the community specified. Sounds like a cool little add-on for any blog that has a hyper-local community focus. [paidcontent.org]

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