I have to admit, 18 months ago, I was dismissive. I didn’t feel that location media would catch on and some would say that it hasn’t really. But, over this time, check-in technology has advanced, user bases have grown and times have changed.
Yesterday, Facebook announced a repositioning of location/check-ins on their platform. This is similar to what we see from Twitter as well and seems to represent “where” location is at relative to social networking. Location is not so much a front and center type of activity, but a layer of social information relative to content. When Facebook launched “Places” last year, many felt this was the end of start-ups like Foursquare or Gowalla. And here we are a year later – Places is no more, and Foursquare has reached the 15M user mark and a fresh round of $600M in funding.
So now the landscape of Check-ins positions location as relevant background with social content, apart from Foursquare, where Check-ins are the focus of the content.
The kicker here as I see it is not really a location “issue”, but the growing and established importance of mobile. The very concept of mobile goes hand in hand with location. With mobile internet use due to outpace desk-top use by 2015 – what was once seen as “the battle for location” is really all about mobile.
User value in Check-ins remains in 2 primary places:
- Deals -“What can I get for checking in?”
- Status – “Look where I am (sports event, concert, etc…)!”
Keep those two values top of mind and have them guide you when looking to leverage location and Check-ins for sports marketing purposes.