[Disclosure: DeHood is a sponsor of our MobileBeat 2010 conference.]
DeHood, the location-based service building hyper-local communities — for neighborhoods, for example, has been busy since launching its service for the iPhone seven weeks ago. The company is rolling out a revamped website, an iPad app and Facebook integration, taking the neighborhood concept and combining it with what seems to have become the standard in social networks.
The Facebook functionality is what you’d expect – DeHood users can invite Facebook friends to join them on the DeHood community, find friends who already are using DeHood, and post their DeHood activites on their Facebook wall. For DeHood, it makes sense to tap into Facebook, the social network that currently boasts 500 million users and expects to hit one billion sometime next year. And DeHood is betting on Facebook becoming the social networking solution for the masses.
“It’s important to work with existing services. People are already on Facebook, so why not make it available?” said DeHood CEO Babak Hedayati. “It’s a double viral loop – one viral solution, DeHood, on top of another viral solution, Facebook, and that is a valuable effort.”
DeHood’s native iPad app has a slick user interface, and the website has undergone an extensive reworking, providing the same functionality as the apps for mobile devices such as posting comments, seeing who has checked in where, uploading photos, and so on. An Android version of the app is due in a couple of weeks. The weeks after the launch have validated some of the concepts DeHood was built on, according to Hedayati.
“We wanted to be a neighborhood solution, not functionality-based like Foursquare or Twitter. All this is aimed at making the neighborhood a better place, giving people different opportunities to get to know their neighborhood and each other, and participate in the community in different ways, and this is what really has come to fruition.” Hedayati went on to give examples of where community members had stepped in to support people in need, be it a child who was worried that his mother hates him, or a young mother who was depressed and having suicidal thoughts. In both cases, Hedayati said, the community stepped in to give different perspectives and, essentially, help.
While it seems that DeHood has had success in engaging users in the short time it has been available, just how many users are registered with the service is something Hedayati won’t disclose. But, he said, the company is expecting to have “hundreds of thousands of users” by the end of the year. And while DeHood is about building communities (“do good in DeHood”) it is also about making money and building relationships with businesses (suggesting deals for users, as pictured in the screenshot), which is the main angle for revenue for the company – also a reason why the Facebook connectivity makes sense for DeHood.
[Correction: In a previous version, we misspelled DeHood CEO's last name. He is Babak Hedayati.]
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