Where Check-in Services Fail

Check-in services like Foursquare and Gowalla have grown significantly in the last year. In March 2010, Foursquare hit 500K users and in the last few weeks they had surpassed 5M users.      

Building off this momentum, other services have entered the check-in fray like WeReward (pays you to check into places), GetGlue (Entertainment), Miso (TV), Philo (TV)  and of course even Facebook entered the LBS mix with Facebook Places.  

Device aspects like integrated GPS, larger screens, improved OS, and better connectivity began to reach critical mass over the last two years – making LBS technically more feasible.  But it was arguably the gaming aspects of the LBS offerings that provided early motivation – enough to finally jump-start a category. Gaming does well in the mobile environment naturally because it fills voids created by boredom. Besting a friend to become mayor of your favorite restaurant or capturing badges provided just the right level of gaming to fill small amounts of time and boredom. …