Location Platform Loyalty - A Shake-Out Will Happen With Only Two or Three Major Players
I continue to use Foursquare in hopes that more businesses will jump on the bandwagon and offer deals that I can use. I'm also a LivingSocial and Groupon user when there is something worth getting. I've bought an Amazon gift certificate, dinner at a local restaurants, and a Shutterfly deal. Now, Groupon on is getting into the check-on business with a few features similar to what location-based services offer.
However, I don't know if mobile users want to load up their mobile devices with four or five apps that have overlapping features. Just like in the early days of the search engine war with Infoseek, Excite, Lycos, and Yahoo (which Google has now won), I think we'll see some consolidations while others just disappear.
And with Groupon going public and probably encroaching more into the check-in market, I see a push back as well from the likes of Foursquare and Gowalla. And let's not forget Yelp, Google, and Facebook.
If you miss the search engine battle, you won't want to miss the location-based war. And this time, it won't just be startups going at it. All the major tech companies are probably going to be involved in one way or another. And I reckon the winner will be one who creates an ecosystem that best serves the mobile users. Sound familiar?