Location-based apps and checkin features are dominating interest in mobile. In the last year, apps like Foursquare
For early users of these apps, checkins and leaderboards were novelties. Until very recently, you would check in to a venue alone, or with just a handful of other users. Low mainstream adoption made spontaneous socializing hard within the app. Even if it persists as a behavior, the initial excitement of the checkin wears off over time.
But as applications like Foursquare and Gowalla gain traction beyond the early adopters, checkin numbers are just beginning to get interesting. Today, it is common to check into large events like conferences or baseball games with 50+ other people. These growing real-time checkin numbers are opening the door for a new set of features. So, what happens next?
In 2010, we’re likely to see verticals that don’t typically use location-awareness, like movies, music, and sports, add checkin features to their social software. These features will create exciting new “in-venue” user experiences that will change the way we use mobile applications. Here are a couple of examples of what might be possible.
At the Game
Sports applications present some of the most interesting in-venue opportunities. Imagine the next time you go to a Red Sox game, you and hundreds of other fans might check in to Fenway Park via your favorite sports app.
Before the game starts, you could enter an InstaFantasy game by picking three players on either roster. During the game, the progress of your “team” is ranked against all the other InstaFantasy teams that have been picked by other fans in the ballpark that night. Between innings, the app shows a trivia question about players along with an in-game trivia leaderboard. Comment and trash talk about the game while there and connect viaFacebook with other season ticket holders who you play against every night. Using location, any sports app could add these types of in-venue features.
At the Movies
Movie apps will also get in on in-venue features. Moviegoers could check in to a theater on the opening night of a film with their favorite app. The venue could offer discounts on popcorn upon checkin, and users could vote on the movie previews shown before the feature. While the movie is playing, they could get trivia questions fromIMDB about the current movie and comment on the movie with other app users a la “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” The theater could award that night’s trivia winner a discount on their next visit to the theater and could gather information based on answers about which type of movies each customer likes.
When movie apps start adding these experiences, going to the movies will turn into a much more social and interactive experience.
Users will soon be able to interact with a whole new set of features built around the checkin, making activities around a single event that much more social and interesting. There is a major opportunity here for apps and brands to own consumer engagement everywhere — from the couch to the stadium, from the bar to the office — and gather highly valuable targeting information about consumers. The apps that win will provide mobile experiences dedicated to every venue.
Article via Mashable: http://mashable.com/2010/06/03/the-potential-of-the-checkin/