Marketers are getting a little too excited over location based data

There’s a lot of buzz around location based services. BrightKite, Google Latitude, Twitter’s new Geo data. But beyond the tech and marketing crowd there hasn’t been much acceptance.

The only service I’ve seen “normal” people get a little excited about is FourSquare but that’s because of the game play (everyone wants to be the mayor of somewhere). I also think that people are starting to get bored with it all (even FourSguare).

The main problem is that there’s no real value for the average user. We don’t really care where all of our friends are. If we want to know, we’ll text them. More than that we don’t really want everyone to know where we are all the time. Releasing your location based data has the highest personal risk for obvious reasons.

What do people really want? Location based search. This is why Yelp has been successful and something that Yahoo’s now dead mobile One Search did a really good job at.

Who really likes location based apps? Marketers. Marketers are going to have to come up with some really valuable reasons for me to care because I don’t care what you promise I know it’s all just going to turn into spam.

In theory it sounds nice to get alerted to deals from companies you like when you’re in the area but we all know that’s a bunch of crap. I don’t need the people behind me in traffic getting one more distraction.

I don’t need “special offers” pushed to me when I’m in the area. I need special offers presented to me when I’m searching for something in the area.

Until something better comes along I’m just not impressed.

BTW here’s the best argument I’ve heard for location based data: Location Is The Missing Link Between Social Networks And The Real World

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About Tac Anderson

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.
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