A survey this week from 24seven inquired about marketing trends I think will decline or go away in 2010. Among those I cited was phone-a-friend because viral activities are moving so rapidly toward online application domination. A similar question can be asked as to what will be this coming year’s new growth trends, and high on my list is location social, the process of combining location with interactivity and discovery of places, akin to being the Netflix of local recommendations.
Among the Internet’s early adopter set, foursquare is the nearly unanimous designee for the social-media service that will become tech’s next mainstream app. It’s a location-based mobile startup that lets users share locations with friends and also earn badges for checking in at various designated venues. Others players who are competing in the location-based services market include Gowalla, Loopt, Brightkite, Google’s Latitude, as well as Twitter, which has been this year’s poster boy for the new app with all the buzz. In fact, Twitter is actively working on building out its own location-based features.
In marketing it often asked about a new product if it serves a need. In the case of location social, the answer is yes. Here is an example/opportunity from my own recent experiences: I was at a charity function for a local school earlier this month. Several people I know are associated with that school, so I was casually looking around the crowded facility to see if any of them were, by chance, there. Imagine how much easier it would have been to be able to confer with a widely used app that could alert me if they were actually in attendance.
One more trend I expect to see more of in 2010 is app-to-app linkage, and indeed foursquare is already all over this, with Twitter integration already part of its offering.