ZocDoc Wants You Ahead of the Curve on Those Medical Forms

Adorable ZocDoc mascots. (Photo: Screencap)

We’ve all been there: You dash down to the doc’s office on your lunch break, hoping you can squeeze a checkup into your lunch hour. Instead you’re handed a stack of forms you’re pretty sure you filled out on your last visit, but the receptionist doesn’t seem to have them.

Good news! ZocDoc‘s got your back. TechCrunch reports that starting today, the company is gradually rolling out a new feature called Check-In, which will allow you to fill out that sheaf of forms in advance.  Read More

David vs. Googliath

Google Launches a Leaderboard for Check-Ins, But Foursquare Has Been Here Before

via Engadget

Google snuck in a bit of a bomb for Foursquare with the latest update to its Google Maps app for Android. Without so much as a blog post or promotional tweet, users started noticing that—Surprise!—version 6.3 would now offer an incentive to check-in to Latitude, GOOG’s “all but forgotten” attempt to hit the sweet spot of mobile/local/social. In fact, the incentives will be familiar to any of Foursquare’s 15 million users: You can now get points for checking-in.

Betabeat reached out to Foursquare cofounders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai to see if they were maybe experiencing a little deja-vu. After all, Facebook tried a similar lemme-just-muscle-my-way-in-here strategy with the now-defunct Facebook Places, which also let users check-in, back in 2010. Not to mention the fact that Google Latitude was the company’s succession plan after GOOG acquired Dodgeball from Mr. Crowley, only to let it atrophy. Read More

Location Based

IAC’s Crowded Room: An App For Places You Might Check In

Who knows what fun we'll have!

The marketplace for mobile apps that let you log-in your location and broadcast this information to friends is getting pretty crowded. There is our local favorite, foursquare, which pioneered the act of “checking in”. And then there are giants like Facebook and Twitter, which let you record your location when you send a status update or tweet.

The folks at IAC have come up with a fairly brilliant end-run around all this. Their new app, Crowded Room, let’s people log a “might go”, the tantalizing precursor to the check-in. Not only do you not have to be at the actual location, but you “might go” to dozens of spots in one night without ever leaving your couch! Read More


Let’s Monetize! How LocalResponse Turns Social Media Emphemera Into Mobile Ad Inventory

Nihal Mehta

Betabeat is pretty sick of “big data” as a buzzword, but the amount of personal information that consumers are throwing up on the web is staggering. Facebook has had some success advertising against this information, Twitter less so.

LocalResponse was born out of the ashes of Buzzd, a city guide that mashed up Foursquare and Twitter to help users find local hotspots. Founder Nihal Mehta learned a valuable lesson in defeat, and this week raised a $5 million round from new investors Cava Capital, Vodafone Ventures, Advancit Capital and Progress Ventures, along with its existing investors

Buzzd was a consumer facing platform, but failed to attract enough users. LocalResponse, by contrast, take the massive amount of public data being shared on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, and turns that into ad inventory. Read More


Foursquare’s Alex Rainert Talks iOS 5: The Technology Has Finally Caught Up With Our Vision

This will go great with our Sonar

The newest version of Apple’s mobile operating system rolled out today, and foursquare is leveraging the new technology to launch Radar, the first passive feature the company has ever released.

“Up till now, you had to open the app to learn what was going on around you. A lot of times you had to check in before you saw what friends were in your area,” said Alex Rainert, foursquare’s head of product. “Now we can deliver users information that is contextual and relevant without them having to do anything at all.”

So for example if a foursquare user is in a new part of their city and walks close to a restaurant on their “To Do” list, the phone can ping them with an alert. During a night on the town, the Radar feature can sense when a group of friends has checked in close to a user and give them a heads up. Read More

Location Based

A Week of FourSquare Check Ins From Around the World [Video]

At his company’s hackathon this weekend, Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley hit 5,000 check ins. But the adventurous CEO is so busy traveling the world pitching his product, he hasn’t managed to lock down a single mayorship.

Foursquare is clearly a global phenomenon. Along with the developers in NYC, coders  in Paris and Tokyo contributed hacks to this weekend’s event.

Now that it’s passed 1 billion check-ins and hired a full time data scientist, Foursquare decided to share this amazing video of what a week of check in activity looks like across the globe. Read More

Location Based

Facebook Just Bowed Out of the Check-In War With Foursquare

Image of Foursquare's board via Fortune


While some folks might attribute the rumbling feeling that hit New York this afternoon to a 5.9 earthquake in Virginia, Betabeat now knows better. It was the tectonic reverberations of defeat, as Facebook quietly phased out the Places feature of its mobile app which everyone was screaming for months would kill Foursquare.

Checking in to a physical location is an intimate act. You’re letting friends and potentially strangers, if you share to social networks, that you’re home, at work, at a party or in another country. Facebook, as it did with photos, made it possible to tag other people, indicating when they were at a location with you. Like photo tagging, this spurred a high volume of early activity as superusers essentially forced other users to take part in the act of checking in.

But as part of sweeping redesign today that emphasizes privacy, Facebook is phasing out its Places feature for mobile. It’s a tacit admission that Mark Zuckberg’s policy of shoot first, ask questions later, of always pushing the boundaries of personal privacy, doesn’t apply to all markets. And as with many features introduced by Google and Facebook in the social space, a reminder that the size of your network doesn’t always guarantee you can co-opt a market from early movers. Read More


When Will Foursquare’s Relentless Onslaught of New Features End?

Check in and multiply

Monday it was lists. Tuesday it was photos. Wednesday it went global. Thursday it was events. Friday it was deep data.

As Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley said back in April, the focus for 2010 and the beginning of 2011 was on scaling the company’s backend and staff so that it could handle its rapidly growing user base. ” A big part of the last year was just spent keeping things up and running. You remember Twitter went through all those problems, we’re not out of the weeds yet, but we went through all those problems this summer (2010).”

With the basics squared away, a new office on the West Coast and $50 million in the bank, Foursquare is suddenly announcing new features, updates, partnerships and events at a breakneck pace. Read More

Location Based

Untappd Flips Script, Makes Acquisition Before Raising Funds


Untappd lets users check in to what they’re drinking, earn badges, see what previous stool sitters have swilled and where they can find rare craft beers nearby. The app just crossed the one million check-in mark and decided to celebrate by acquiring fellow beer check-in service Redpint.

“We’re a self-funded project for now,” explained co-founder Greg Avola, who is based in New York and works full time at Morgan Stanley. “Maybe it’s doing things backwards, but we thought the purchase of Redpint would make us look more professional to investors.” Read More