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One location service to rule them all

Milly Diaz
Milly Diaz
Associate Director of Social Media
19 August 2010

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Disclaimer: I’ve borrowed the title of this blog from Tanya Goodin, our CEO. We were talking about Facebook Places this morning and she posed the (very Lord of the Rings inspired) question to me, did I think that Facebook Places would be the one location service to rule them all?

My answer to her was I hope not, but it’s very likely.

I’ve blogged previously that I’m against Facebook being at the centre of my social media existence. I’m not comfortable interacting with everyone I know on one platform. To be frank, I like to keep my relationships compartmentalized and am very particular about who I interact with and where in the online social space. So, no surprise, my reaction to the Facebook Places announcement was less than enthusiastic. I’ve been active on both Foursquare and Gowalla since the early part of the year and have quite enjoyed it! I feel a bit of resentment at Facebook because inevitably, the experience is going to change.

However, as fun as Foursquare and Gowalla are the only way they were going to survive in the long run is through brand/corporate sponsorships. Even combined, active users of Foursquare and Gowalla (a few million at best?) are no where near the number of people on Facebook (500 MILLION!). Reach is important to brand marketers, right, so I assume they’d choose Facebook over any of the others for partnerships.

I also think Foursquare and Gowalla will have a hard time growing their base now that Facebook is in the game. If you aren’t an early adopter, media type you’ll probably go with the name you know to try out the real time – location check-in thing. Advantage, obviously Facebook.

In the Lord of the Rings, one ring to rule them all was a bad thing.

So on the web, how can one (fill in the blank) service to rule them all be any good?

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