TextPlus, an application that lets groups easily text each other for free, today announced it has submitted its 4.4 version to Apple. The new version will allow users not only to text for free but also to search for people (see image), bringing a new social aspect to group texting. We’ll be sure to let you know when the new version gets approved.
stories by Cody Barbierri
JiWire, a company that uses Wi-Fi locations to deliver ads to consumers, today announced the launch of Compass, a service that delivers ads that pull in specific data based on the user’s location.
Gemvara, the online tool for customizing and buying jewelry, today shared several impressive growth numbers with VentureBeat. According to founder and chief executive Matt Lauzon (pictured), the company, in less than a year, has gone from $0 to selling millions of dollars of jewelry.
While only 4 percent of US online adults have ever used a location-based service, like popular check in app Foursquare, data from research firm Forrester shows that young adult males with college degrees appear to be the main user group.
Location-based check-in service Foursquare just announced on its blog that is has officially released the second version of its application programming interface, or API, in beta. The first version of its API, used by third-party developers to build software that connects to Foursquare’s services, will still be functional, but will probably phase out in a few months, according to the company.
Foursquare cofounder and chief executive Dennis Crowley just took the stage at Le Web, an Internet conference held in Paris, France, and noted the company now has 5 million users, is adding 25,000 new users daily, and is seeing more than 2 million check-ins a day.
Loopt, an early leader in location-based services, today announced it has launched the next version of its application with several new features, including automatic check-ins, text messages, social recommendations, and rewards from businesses.
If you’re an engineer on the West Coast looking to join a hot startups, here’s a good reason to prepare your resume. According to a company blog post, popular mobile check-in application Foursquare has decided to put together a full team of engineers in its new West Coast office.
Scvngr, the check-in application that asks users to complete activity challenges, just announced a strategic partnership with major drink distributor Coca Cola. The two have joined forces to give users who check-in to certain Simon Malls across United States the opportunity to earn points and rewards like gift cards and other Coke-branded merchandise.
Popular mobile check in application Foursquare today launched a new pilot program with Pepsi and Safeway that integrates check ins with loyalty rewards, reports business magazine Fast Company.
Facebook is apparently starting a push to get users to make it their default homepage. In fact, that’s exactly what they are doing with a new “Make Facebook Home” button that is beginning to appear on the top of user’s profiles.
For all of you who are still trying to figure out how to use location-based services for your business, fear no more. We’ve gotten wind that, come June 2011, Dummies.com, the infamous how-to series from Wiley Publishing will have a new book on the market — “Location Based Marketing for Dummies”.
Popular mobile check in application Gowalla today announced a new partnership with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
Ever wish you could get all the eBay, Craigslist and Autotrader.com ads from your area in one location? Then here’s Yakaz, a social network for classified ads that is announcing the release of its latest version available in 190 countries and 50 languages.
Google today announced on its blog the release of Hotpot, a recommendation engine for local businesses based on you and your friends’ ratings. Hotpot is an addition to the company’s Google’s Places initiative, a campaign to get local business owners to claim their venues, verify information and engage with customers.
SimpleGeo, a service for adding location-based features to applications, just announced that former Digg CEO Jay Adelson will be its new CEO and join its board of directors.
SoGeo, a service that collects and analyzes location data for users, today announced the launch of Whatser. It’s a free mobile application that suggests where to go based on places that you like and that your friends like.
Popular mobile check-in application Foursquare today announced on its blog that it has made a few updates to its main website. I couldn’t help but wonder if the updates are in preparation for the site to allow users to check-in from their desktops.
Company: Foursquare Location: New York City Founded: January 2009 Founders: Dennis Crowley, Naveen Selvadurai Funding: $21.35 million Employees: 35
Company: Booyah Location: San Francisco Founded: August 2008 Founders: Keith Lee, Brian Morrisroe, Sam Christiansen Funding: $29.5 million Employees: 50
Company: Gowalla Location: Austin, Texas Founded: 2009 Founders: Josh Williams, Scott Raymond Funding: $10.4 million Employees: 25
Company: Loopt Location: Mountain View, Calif. Founded: 2006 Founder: Sam Altman Funding: $17 million Employees: 40
Company: Scvngr Location: Boston Founded: June 2008 Founder: Seth Priebatsch Funding: $4.8 million Employees: 50
An inside source at Facebook is claiming that some 30 million of its users have used Facebook Places, according to Business Insider. With more than 500 million users, that number would mean that only about 6% of Facebook users have tried the newly launched feature.
Popular mobile check-in application Gowalla today announced it has launched several new features — all helping the company to make money from the service. The company’s new features include City Pages, Verified Businesses and a Stamp Calendar.
Just a week after competitor Gowalla teamed up with NASA to give users a few new check-in badges to chase, popular mobile game Foursquare has taken the idea to the next level, announcing it too is working with the government agency.
SkillSlate, a website for easily finding local service providers such as dog walkers, DJs and movers, today announced it has secured a first funding round of $1.1 million. The company plans on using the funds to expand the service outside of the New York area and add more work categories.
Apple’s surging iPhone sales are leading to boatloads of acessories — literally. And those overseas shipments may be a good indicator of expectations for future iPhone sales.
The National Basketball League (NBA) may be looking to take advantage of the growing popularity of consumers checking-in to locations through its own application dubbed Turnstile, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Loopt, an early leader in location-based services, today announced it has integrated Facebook Places into its mobile check-in application. The application is available for iPhone and iPod touch.
Popular mobile check-in game Gowalla announced a partnership today with government space agency NASA. While a mobile game and a space agency might not be the most likely of pairs, the two have joined forces to offer a country-wide scavenger hunt for virtual items, including moon rocks, NASA patches, spacesuits and space shuttles.
Marissa Mayer,Vice President of Search Product and User Experience for Google, may be changing roles and focusing on location and local services, according to Bloomberg.
Your phone knows where you are. Why not your bank? Two startups are working in tandem to make that possible.
Popular mobile check-in game Foursquare today announced on its blog that is has launched a Symbian version of its location-based game. Symbian is one of Nokia’s mobile operating systems for mobile devices and low-end smartphones.
Cloud Engines, maker of the Pogoplug device for accessing and sharing content from your hard drive via the internet, today announced the launch of Pogoplug Pro. And for those who never liked the device because it was bright pink, the new Pro comes in black.
MyTown, a mobile check-in game for iPhone and iPod Touch, today announced its global availability. While the company claims global access, it’s really just available in the 29 countries that can access the Apple App Store and Google Places.
While Facebook Places wasn’t the first on the location-based services scene, it may have just became the top dog. According to Eric Sherman at CBS’s BNET site, the company has been granted a very broad patent, filed in 2007, called “Systems and methods for automatically locating Web-based social network members.”
Looking to make their display ads more appealing to advertisers and agencies, Yahoo today announced on its blog that it has plans to buy Dapper, a mashup technology to bring the advantages of search-based advertising into the world of display ads.
While big brands and agencies have the luxury of resources and money, local businesses don’t. What they need is a social-media dashboard — an all-in-one, Web-based monitoring tool for Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites where customers hang out — that can optimize their online presence, engage with users and manage social campaigns. But that tool needs to meet three criteria: cheap, easy to use and automated. With that in mind, here’s a list of the top four that I find particularly well-suited for business use.