Sunday, May 1, 2011

Location Based Networking

Location based networking (LBN) is a new form and trend of social networking using the location of where you are blogging/networking from at that point in time. It is mainly used with the use of smart phones and notebooks, individuals to big corporations have stated to this way of networking. Listed below are just some of the most popular and well known uses of LBN.

Foursquare- Application for smart phones and mobile devices that uses GPS to use your location. Foursquare allows people to check into certain places such as cafes, Universities, housing and many more. When checking into these places you gain rewards and points to build your profile up and build up your ranks like a game. It also allows you to view where your friends have checked in, and who is nearby your own check in. It currently has 7million users worldwide.

Twitter- A current new feature allows your followers to see where you have twittered. It is usually a link which comes up as a map and shows your direct location. Tweeters can
opt out of using the location feature. Twitter has a registered estimated 190 million users.

Facebook- On smart phones and mobile applications FB allows you to check in to your current location and tag others with yourself, a further link allows others to see specifically where the position is. “Facebook has more than 5
00 million active users”.

LBN currently came around as the websites felt that people didn’t just want to know what was going on but where it was. There have been many negative comments about LBN arguing that it is a breach of someone’s privacy. Many companies have taken advantage of LBN giving users discounts, one that I have experienced myself is checking into a Wetherspoons chain pub and receiving 15% discount on my order. People in the PR industry think that it will take off mainly because of LBN and that it is great PR spreading the information by word of mouth but whilst doing this having to look after brand reputation as many can take advantage of this.

”According to a rather speculative report by research firm ABI Research, location-based social networks like Brightkite, GyPSii, Pelago and Loopt could reach revenues as high as $3.3 billion by 2013. The report, however, also warns that the business models might differ from what most analysts are expecting today. According to ABI research, most of these networks will make their money from licensing and revenue-sharing with network providers or handset manufacturers.”

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