Location Based Services and Mobile 2.0

All the location based services like Loopt, Whirrl, BrightKite, Foursquare, Gowalla and Google have created a lot of buzz however; the many conventional users are still not persuaded that they need to a) share their information and b) there is enough value  to use these. There has been a change in the way these location based services presents themselves, lately. As a replacement for another mobile application which sits on your phone, Foursquare and Gowalla have taken a social game based approach where they offer badges to their users for activities.

The thinking is that using a combination of check-ins (where users tell the app where they are) and gaming features, it will make location sharing more interesting. Behind the scenes, there are big business objectives for these mobile social apps which are an important part of Mobile 2.0 suite of services.

There are many of the analysts who think that Twitter and Facebook will be playing a big role in location based services and they can easily destroy all of the competition because of their scale.

Twitter has been putting a big emphasis on location, even on their web client. Mobile users are considerably more active and many of them share their exact location with tweets. We have been hearing rumors that Facebook will start adding more of location info in all status updates.

Location Based Service is a major component of Mobile 2.0 but its adoption outside of developed countries is probably not going to be fast. By itself it may not matter much. The trick will be to integrate these services with something which is of direct value to the ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) sensitive consumer. The big question is: Can it be done in next 1-2 years?

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