Do you Foursquare or Gowalla?

It's like Dallas or Dynasty for those no longer into retro references... Foursquare, where a user "checks-in" to locations (as pinpointed via satellite) to invite along friends, leave tips glued to GPS coordinates (like ordering advice at restaurants), and compete for digital rewards in the form of badges, or titles like "mayor" (for the user who checks in the most at a venue)... or Gowalla where users check in places in order to collect digital goodies, akin to virtual geocaching.

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Social media blogs like Mashable named Foursquare the "breakout app" of SXSW, and a few months later it raised $1.35 million from investors who bet that Foursquare was the next big thing. CNN called it "next year's Twitter."

Left in the wake of Foursquare's popularity and superior functionality, Gowalla lurked in the shadows recently. Shortly after Foursquare attracted its first investment, Gowalla raised about $8.4 million from several investors, including a few angels who kicked themselves for not sealing a deal with Foursquare.

Now the race is on to corner the market in geo targeting social media. But look what's just happened... behemoths like Twitter and Facebook are bringing their big guns to the geo-social networking space. In fact, this week it was revealed that Facebook, which has 800 times the users as Foursquare, will be adding location check-ins as early as next month. This was just about to get interesting...

Paul Shepherd

I've worked in digital communications for around 15 years, and specialised in social media for the past three. Passionate about new technologies, media, and the impact it has on businesses bottom line, I try to bring that passion to every campaign for every brand we work with.