Location Based

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

Location Based

Dennis Crowley on Building a Business: “Foursquare Hasn’t Succeeded Yet”

Foursquare's Dennis Crowley. (Photo: David Brabyn)

At a live chat with Fred Wilson at NYU today, foursquare founder Dennis Crowley was asked by his most famous investor, “Were you ever afraid your business might fail?”

“Sure,” Mr. Crowley said. “We haven’t succeeded yet.”

“People pat me on the back all the time and tell me how great I’m doing. It’s true we’ve made something people like. But we’re on the 20 yard line with a long way to go. So the congratulations are a little premature.” 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

HyperPublic Hires Jeff Weinstein, Big Data Dynamo From ComScore, as New President

Never met a data set he didn't like

Hyperpublic is a relatively new startup with a very ambitious agenda, to organize the world’s geodata and in effect index online what exists where in the physical world. To get there, the company will have to pair a huge machine learning and big data effort with a killer consumer product that layers on great metadata.

In many ways this project resembles the work being done by Joe Einhorn at thingd. Mr. Einhorn is trying to be the “thing” layer on the web, tagging every object in every image, whether it’s part of a Conde Nast photo spread or a personal blog about toy cars. Except Hyperpublic is going after the people, places and things in the real world.

To make this all happen, Hyperpublic has hired Jeff Weinstein as their President. Mr Weinstein was head of R&D at Comscore and was reportedly being recruited by Google before Hyperpublic snapped him up. Read More

Location Based

From Bleecker Street Bar to General Assembly: Dennis Crowley Hits 5,000 Check-Ins

Dens, about fifteen minutes after his 5,000th check-in.

Shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday, foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley reported his location via his cell phone for the 5,000th time. Betabeat was lucky enough to catch the moment–we’d just wandered in for the foursquare Global Hack Day demos and were approaching the sandy-haired CEO when we heard him proclaim the milestone, keyed in on a white iPhone with a not-so-subtle foursquare sticker on the back. We peeked over his shoulder at the four-digit number. It looked very round.

But not as round as the “0” next to it.

“You have zero mayorships?” Betabeat exclaimed. 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

Location Based

Time Flies When You’re Talking About Foursquare


Remember in the earlier days of Twitter, when it was all about signing on at a pre-determined time and using a hashtag to participate in a conversation such as #journchat or #blogchat in an attempt to approximate chat rooms? Yeah, those things weren’t Twitter’s finest moments. But the hashtag chat persists, and we just discovered one that was hopping last night: #4sqchat, a regular conversation takes place Monday nights at 9 p.m. Last night’s topic: superusers, who are helping Foursquare clean up its venue information. Read More

Location Based

TechStars NY Grad ThinkNear Closes $1.6 M Round with IA and Google Ventures


UPDATE 7/26/2011: TechCrunch broke the embargo, as usual, but Erick Schonfeld was nice enough to link back to this original story on the round.

ThinkNear has announced that Google Ventures, who the team met during their time at TechStars NY, is one of its backers. Other investors include Metamorphic Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, FF Venture Capital, Real Ventures, Zelkova Ventures, BoldStart VC, David Tisch, Bill Boebel, Ben Sun, David Cohen and Matt Turck.

“We had only planned to raise $1 million but got $2 million worth of interest before we stopped looking,” says Founder Eli Portnoy. “We chose mainly to raise from the mentors we met through TechStars, people we knew could add value.” Read More