Recommended Reading: HTML 5, Instagram, Mango and More HTML App
Windows Phone 7.5 Mango review

While Windows Phone still needs a glass of water to get rid of a few hiccups — and let’s face it, every mobile OS has plenty of their own — it ironed out a lot of the wrinkles from earlier versions and made it a much more feature-laden, user-friendly experience. With Mango, WP7 has caught up with Android and iOS in nearly every way, and in some areas it’s even surpassed the other two in functionality.

Shopkick By The Numbers: 700M Product Views; 7M Product Scans; 2.3M Users In The Past Year

Since the application’s launch in August 2010, Shopkick has seen a whopping 700 million product views, and the startup expects to pass 1 billion product views this year. There have been over 2 million physical walk-ins to stores (which are measured from the shopkick signal device installed at the store). The device is installed at 3000 large stores and 250 malls now.

Instagram signs up a new user every second

In the end, [CEO Kevin] Systrom said that the company sees Instagram as providing not just photos but “short entertainment experiences” that can connect users with their friends but also with brands. And the Instagram CEO said that the company is looking ahead to when it can provide more than just an iPhone app — with the near-term focus on both an Android app and a web-based version of the service.

PayPal Predicts Major Spike in Mobile Shopping on Thanksgiving Day
PayPal Blog
(Disclosure: PayPal is a Netbiscuits client)

It’s called “couch commerce” and 2011 will mark the first year it will really affect retailers. We’re predicting that after dinner on Thanksgiving Day will be the first mobile shopping spike this holiday season. Retailers looking to lure these early holiday shoppers should think about extending offers and deals to these mobile buyers.

Who wins the HTML5 vs. apps debate?
Mobile Marketer

Mr. Broitman also said that there will be no App Store by 2015.

“I do strongly believe that the iTunes App Store is identical to what AOL was when it first got people online,” said Adam Broitman, partner and ringleader at, New York.

Financial Times finds life outside the App Store pretty good so far

[ Managing Director Rob] Grimshaw said the app is also better at getting users to engage than the desktop version of the website. He told Reuters that FT web app users “are consuming about three times as many pages through the app as they are through the desktop in an average visit.”

Footfeed for Symbian released

Footfeed launched a Symbian client today bringing multi check-in functionality to millions of handsets. Features include:

– Multi Checkin Capability: check in once to multiple networks simultaneously including Facebook Places, Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Latitude, Facebook and Twitter,
– Nearby Check-in Deals & Rewards: find all of the deals and rewards available from local businesses just for checking in. You can even search deals, and
– Tips & To Dos: we aggregate all of the tips and recommendations shared by users across all the check-in networks so you can easily get ideas on where to go and what to do.

Download Footfeed for Symbian at the Ovi Store.

Apples to Oranges; Twitter to Foursquare

PewInternet released a report titled, 4% of online Americans use location-based services, and it was picked-up by several media outlets and re-posted on blogs and Twitter. One line in particular has seems to get quoted most:

“Pew reports that a two years after Twitter launched it only had 6% of the population using it. This suggests Foursquare (and Gowalla, to a lesser extent) are growing just as fast as Twitter did in its early going.”

While it is easier for people to consume data when comparisons are involved, I find this one very inappropriate and explained why in a post on LinkedIn which I wanted to share here.

There is a great deal of room for growth in LBS, but this is an unfair comparison. There is a significant difference between comparing an entire segment to one company.

Twitter is a communication channel (and a revolutionary one at that.) It is conversational medium and has more in common with email than LBS (though that line is blurring more and more.)

In this particular report “Location-based services” accounts for a handful of companies using game mechanics and offers to encourage sharing your location. And while brands are partnering with Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook places, these apps have not become the communication channel that Twitter has.

So where does that leave LBS? In a great spot for growth. Twitter’s meteoric growth was partly spurred brands embracing the platform and extending a value (offers, promotions, customer service) which led to more users signing up for Twitter. In a similar fashion I expect that we will see more brands embrace their own LBS strategies (either partnering with the existing networks or building their own) and then we will see real user growth in this segment.

Footfeed 2.0 is Now Live

The New Footfeed Dashboard
As some of you know from previous posts, I have been working with the Footfeed team for a while now. For those who don’t, Footfeed is a check-in aggregator. With a couple of taps you can check-in to Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, Facebook & Brightkite all at once.

Version 2.0 of Footfeed on iOS went live last night [iTunes link.] The app includes several new features including:

    Search for check-in deals near your current location,
    A redesigned check-in dashboard,
    Aggregated Tips & To Dos, and
    Added support for Google Latitude.

More platforms will be supported soon. We have also updated the Footfeed Multi Check-in Platform that allows brands to easily add check-in capabilities to their own apps.

If you’d like to learn more about our platform, please email me at kemp [at] footfeed [dot] com.

Footfeed at Fall DEMO 2010

In addition to my other activities I have been working with the team at Footfeed, the first multi check-in platform. We just wrapped-up Fall DEMO 2010 and it was a huge success.

TechCrunch named Footfeed as one of The Seven Best Start-ups at DEMO and CNET highlighted Footfeed in their article 10 Cool DEMO Products You Can Use Now.

Footfeed also previewed version 2.0 of their iPhone app. Take a look at the presentation below. Email me or leave a comment if you want to learn more.

Accuracy in Location-based Apps, part 2: Facebook Places

Facebook Places launched last Friday, and after using it for a week it appears to be in last place when it comes to accuracy.

At the beginning of the month I compared Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp for accuracy in determining my location. The results placed Foursquare and Yelp at the top with Gowalla trailing. Now Facebook has taken the bottom position when it comes to accuracy.

The screen shots below were taken while sitting inside my local Starbucks. As you can see, my location doesn’t even appear in the top listings for Facebook. In my origal post I noted that Foursquare uses ‘favorites’ to keep your most frequent locations at the top and Yelp does not allow user-submitted locations, thus keeping their results clean.

Search results - Click to enlarge

Still, Facebook’s options have continually been the worst, with my actually location often not showing up in the first three pages of results. The locations are usually there when I search for them, but I can only imagine that new users, or users with less patience will take the time to search for their location.

Places is a new feature for Facebook so there is some leeway allowed for them to make updates and improvements, but they had better not wait too long.

Footfeed: All Your Check-in Belong To Us

Footfeed Main Screen
It is here, the best check-in aggregator to date: Footfeed (iTunes link.) The concept is simple; one app that checks you in to Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite and Whrrl, with one tap. Previous executions (like Web-based have been shoddy at best. Footfeed pulls all of these apps together beautifully and alleviates check-in fatigue . In addition, users can see where all of their friends are checking in, no matter which service they use, in one app .

Footfeed’s website also displays user statistics and check-in by friends.

The app is not without it’s drawbacks. Features unique to apps (like Gowalla’s photo-sharing) are not available, but users can still access those features after completing a mass check-in via Footfeed.

I recommend this app to any iPhone owner using more than one check-in application. Footfeed is free.

– Check-in to multiple services at once
– Consolidated view of check-ins across all services
– Crisp user interface
– Consolidated stats and friends check-ins

– Features unique to apps not available
– Check-in services without an API are not supported (Yelp)
– iPhone only

Check-in and Stats Screens

Recommended Reading

Here are a few articles I recommend reading this week.

Why iPhone Strategy is Wrong and Has to Change Soon
Communities Dominate Brands
In this long article (10,000 words plus) post, Tomi T Ahonen dissects Apple’s current strategy and explains why they are wrong and what they need to do to get back on track.

Everything You Need to Know About Being an Android App Seller
Appency Blog
The stats and facts you need to know regarding selling Android apps.

For Open Table, Mobile Means Mo’ Money
Open Table is seeing growth spurred by their mobile strategy.

Miss Shirley’s sees a 427% increase in checkins from their foursquare mayor special
About Foursquare
A breakfast spot in Baltimore expeiences a massive increase in check-ins when running Foursquare promotions.