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How do you see social networking would be dominate in the location-based (LBS) market?

Updated: Aug 23, 2018

The term Social Networking is being well-known for everyone in our daily lives, where people promote themselves communicate with friends via a community. The movement in social networking on digital media also played a vital role since 1994 and rapidly increased in 2004, where majority of the big players participates such as Google, Orkut, Facebook, Twitter, Hi5, Bebo, MySpace, Friendster, LinkedIn and some of them being very temporary in nature i.e setting up a ski trip travel several months in advance with a group of disparate friends etc.

In an increasingly mobile world, mobile location-based social networking is expected to become a key driver for the uptake of (or LBS for short) as it provides a unifying framework for a large set of rich features such as friend finders, local search, status updates, geo-tagging, weather services and even location-based games. While many location-based services (LBS) applications include features allowing the sharing of real-time experiences via fixed social networking giants such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.


Well unless you've been living under a rock, you have no doubt noticed all the buzz about location-based services (LBS) like Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, BrightKite, Yelp Whrrl, Booyah and Facebook Places. It seems that location-based mobile social networks and check-ins were all the rage since last two years. These social networking services make location essential and offer users to find their friends location and meet up allows check-into location with user visit real physical locations — bars, restaurants, concert venues, historical sites, etc. that help to higher points of interest earn badges, coupons, mayorship of a specific spot as part of the social games.


Location-based Services (LBS)


Location-based services (LBS) take your experience to the next top level — isn't it cool that now you can find out if that local Thai restaurant that just opened is really as good as the ads say they are — or if that nearby music venue is the hottest nightspot in town and share with your SN friends. Perhaps, if there was a solid front runner in the location-based social networking space, we would not need another app to aggregate all of our incoming location-based data. However, that's not the case as popular as Foursquare and Gowalla are and now, with Loopt and Facebook places finally starting to show their hands, the field is getting crowded and needs an umpire to tell us "who's on first" "who's out" — and "who's hit a home run".


Does Social Networking Location-based Services (LBS) benefits your business?

While business growth will be mainly driven by the availability of multimedia-centric GPS handsets, other mobile form factors and social branding advertisement will also become important, where fully fledged mobile location-based social networking apps will gain momentum with more than 82 million subscriptions expected by 2013.

Using geolocation for business isn't just about the check-ins, which can feel a bit empty and redundant (say a customer walks into your bar. If they check-in, will they buy more drinks? Highly unlikely).


The act of checking-in, while it's the obvious first connection, is not where the value lies in these networks. It's the data that checking-in and the behaviours revealed about a customer patterns and habits that really add to the experience. Other income will come from licensing deals with brands, share partnerships, between giants in the game like Facebook, Google, Loopt and etc. that will increase frequency of user and customer acquisition; there will be a combination of native and third-party apps populating added to the mobile social networking experience that bring the future revenue.

Location is growing so much faster than social media ever did. One year from now, we'll see location jump the equivalent of three years social media time — Rob Reed, MomentFeed Inc.

Conclusion

This is why we need to be watching the evolution of location-based social network services over the next few years. It's directly correlated with the rising popularity of GPS-enabled smart-phones. As long as these phones grow in popularity (they will), then location-based services (LBS) will spread until, one day, they become as common as the cellphone itself.

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