Gowalla is another location-based service that lets you check-in to businesses and collect rewards for essentially promoting the venue to your friends. This type of location-based viral promotion is definitely the forefront of location advertising. The viral factor helps spread awareness about the venue, and companies can offer tailored incentives to drive more business.
The problem with Foursquare, which I’m curious about with Gowalla, is that the user experience is totally defined by what city you live in. In Ottawa, the experience is very lackluster and there is only 1 business that takes advantage of the service (the Mercury Lounge). There are no food deals and for someone who doesn’t drink or go out, this means there are no deals available in the City. Considering Foursquare aren’t adding many badges, their is now almost no value proposition for Ottawa users on Foursquare. Will Gowalla have a similar downside? We’ll review the two services and compare their value proposition for a user.