LocationGeo-Social Nonsense: The Future of Location-Based Services and their Role in Mobile Jeff Kirchick University Specialist @jeffreykirchick firstname.lastname@example.org scvngr.com
What’s this all about?• The way we think about location is wrong• Location as it exists now is awful• We are wasting our time with fads• What is happening in the LBS world• How will we begin to think about LBS• Most of the good things you hear are nonsense• …but no one is really paying close attention• …it’s my job to pay really close attention• I kinda feel like Porter Stansberry, so that’s not a good thing.
Big Partners + Big Money = Big Results… Social LBS Users Using Social LBS People In This Room Everyone Else …Right?
…Wrong November 2010 – Pew Internet ResearchI went on Higher Ed Live in Feb. 2011, predicted the death of Foursquare, was criticized and called “biased,”and then new research came out in August 2011, almost a year after initial research.
Even Value Exchange (Natural vs. Unnatural Interactions)• Fact: people are more inclined to do something when it feels natural.• Fact: people are more inclined to give something when they feel they will receive equal value in return.• Proposition: LBS (as it exists now) has to offer people a lot for them to really buy into the concept.
Social vs. Influence• Social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. – “Cool” Foursquare features (like the addition of photos) ironically hurt the company – Social services provide social utilities• Influence: Yelp, Groupon, BunchBall, etc. – “Influence” drives behavior
Early Twitter Days “I am eating an apple.” This was social.
Later Twitter Days“Holy #@%&^()*&!! They got Osama!! LET’S GO GET DRUNK!!”This is more influential.
“Cool” vs. Practical• Social services are usually “cool” and have practicality for an elite group of people. They are subjectively useful; not objectively useful.• Practical things are just…practical. You know it when you see it because it provides real utility to your life.
The Decade of GamesSocial Layer Connections Last decade All about connections Facebook’s Open Graph Construction is overGame Layer Influence Next decade All about influence No set foundations Construction has just begun (and we’ll all be involved)
Facebook Evolution• Launched Facebook Places: Summer 2010• Discontinued Facebook Places: Summer 2011• What was the shift?• A victory for Foursquare? Or a huge smack in the face?• In my words: winning the “check-in war” is like winning the State Junior Varsity Basketball Tournament; you’re fighting a fight that’s going to net you a “w,” not a “W.”
Alright, I get it. So what is location according to you, Jeff? …I thought you’d never ask!
Consumer vs. Enterprise• Consumer-based application – Strength lies in the number of users – Has no revenue model; just “value in numbers”• Enterprise application – Strength lies in the number of clients – Has a revenue model – SCVNGR aside, check out Double Dutch
Gowalla EvolutionBefore – Basically the same thing as Foursquare, except you have a “passport,” leave items at places, and get stamps for things. OK, so it was just Foursquare.After – After sentimental sob story, Gowalla becomes a travel guide, thereby limiting its use, shifting its business model, pissing off its users, and becoming useless to the 90+% of people who travel without wanting to suck up their data plan.
Shifts in “Location”• Brightkite – Group SMS• WHERE – bought by PayPal• Whrrl – bought by Groupon• Gowalla – becomes a tourism tool• Foursquare – social recommendations• Facebook – ditches Facebook places• …get the picture?
Convention vs. Unconventional• We think of location in a very conventional way – Foursquare! Gowalla! SCVNGR!• The reality is, location needs to be addressed unconventionally• People are adopting location for the sake of adopting it, and comparing “LBS” tools against each other as if they are all the same• When all is said and done, most of these people will have merely wasted their time• I would go so far as to equate this to having a MySpace profile for your school
Showing is Better Than Telling• Location will become ubiquitous with everything we do• The more subtle the use of location, oftentimes the better• The “check-in” was such a blatant, useless, non-utility-providing function• …we can, and will, do better. Just be patient.