Whilst their main SoLo competitor, Foursquare is doing a good job at connecting with brands, Gowalla is working with have taken a socially responsible approach to their social network. Make Time for Change is an initiative supported by Fridgidaire and organic food enthusiast, Jennifer Garner. Users are encouraged to share information and tips about local farmers markets. In return, for each tip, Fridgidaire will donate $1 to Save The Children’s CHANGE campaign to provide nutritional food to African Children.
Social Location campaigns to drive for social responsibility and brand charity donations have been seen previously in Foursquare (CNN’s Healthy Eating Badge) and Facebook Places (Argos’ Teenage Cancer Trust donations).
More here on the Gowalla/Fridgidaire campaign
The US retailer is using the social location game, SCVNGR to drive sales in their footwear and fitness departments. Using a specially developed version of the game, they are encouraging their customers to check-in and try on items at various locations in their stores. Users can also upload photos. In return Sears are offering ‘players’ discounts of up to 20% on purchases and loyalty points. The app certainly ticks a lot of the boxes on getting customer engagement through mobile. It will be interesting to see how this initiative works out.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but Color, the new photo sharing app hopes that it will be worth just 140 characters. The concept is simple; it’s a real-time photo sharing app for people in the same location. One example of how this works was at a recent LCD Soundsystem gig in New York. Here, 82 photos were shared by 26 people. The advantage of Color comes from the real-time photo and video sharing. These are not archived on a server, but streamed only to those at the event itself. There are options to share images via Facebook, Twitter, Email and MMS.
I’m often dubious about ‘the next big thing in mobile’ and it seems plenty of people are putting Color in that category. However it appears to have real potential for a couple of reasons. Firstly it’s all about location and proximity. There is plenty of evidence to show that when it comes to mobile, location is key. We know that 1/3rd of Google mobile searches have ‘location’ intent. We also know that location-based vouchering on mobile has a much higher redemption rate than those without. And of course there’s Foursquare, Facebook Places, Gowalla, SCVNGR … and many more. Secondly the combination of proximity and lack of archiving has an inbuilt privacy that other social networks fail to offer. There is often an assumption by social media networks that users are happy to share everything, however privacy is a major concern of many people. On the up side, as Color is restricted to friends in a specific location, it’s likely to reduce the annoying over-sharing that is prevalent elsewhere (‘here’s a photo of my lunch’). Thirdly, there is a strong social element due to the proximity, a feature to comment or ‘like’ and image, as well as the facility to share with other social media.
Color works for both large events – I can see it being used at large demonstrations – to small gatherings. There are also real opportunities for brand engagement through the app. The potential is there, but ultimately, technology can never drive consumer adoption. Only consumers can.
More from the people at Color here.