SxSW 2010: The location wars are heating up

Summary:My colleague Caroline McCarthy over at CNET News spotted this at SxSW in Austin, Tx this morning:Location, location, shut up already. Everyone is talking about Foursquare and Gowalla, whether it's good or bad.

My colleague Caroline McCarthy over at CNET News spotted this at SxSW in Austin, Tx this morning:

The location wars are heating up

Location, location, shut up already. Everyone is talking about Foursquare and Gowalla, whether it's good or bad.

Tomorrow night, both Foursquare and Gowalla will be throwing a party at the same time. There is confusion on which service to use. Some are privy to Gowalla because it's got a sexier interface, there are more promotional opportunities, and it's native to Austin. Others pick Foursquare because it's simpler, there are more opportunities for missions, and they play more playground games.

Another service called Whrrl is starting to get a little bit of traction.

They are giving out special lanyards that will give you discounts on drinks in Austin this weekend.

Another service that is launching soon is called Double Dutch, where you can create your own "check in" app for your phone:

Everyone is checking in everywhere. They said location would be the big thing at this SxSW this year, but will it trickle out to the rest of the world?

I judge the success of a social service by whether or not my Mom would use it. When I told her about Foursquare, she dozed off into an abyss until I mentioned that you can become a mayor of a place if you checkin a lot.

Facebook has the greatest opportunity to monetize and personalize these location services, but will they keep it open so developers can play too?

Do you use any of these services? Which one will win?

Topics: Apps

About

Andrew Mager is a hacker advocate at Spotify in New York City. Before moving to NY, Andrew worked at SimpleGeo & Ning in San Francisco. Previously, he was an associate technical producer at CBS Interactive. Andrew studied print & electronic journalism at Virginia Tech, where he created a student-run online news publication called Planet B... Full Bio

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