Gowalla Says Goodbye – Say Hello Loso

I have never been a huge fan of social apps, like Gowalla, that revolve around check ins, mainly because I’m paranoid about people knowing when I’m not home. But I was sort of shocked to hear that Facebook was acquiring Gowalla’s management team, but not continuing with it as a stand-alone service.

“While Facebook isn’t acquiring the Gowalla service or technology, we’re sure that the inspiration behind Gowalla will make its way into Facebook over time,” reads a statement issued by Facebook. Gowalla’s team, including CEO Josh Williams and co-founder Scott Raymond will move from the company’s Austin, Texas, headquarters to Facebook home base in Palo Alto, Calif.

It makes sense according to the articles I’ve read as to why they are doing it, but what about an alternative to Gowalla for the 2 million users? Many people already use the popular Foursquare, but if they wanted Foursquare they may not have chosen Gowalla over it.  That’s why I chose LoSo as my Gowalla alternative.

There are tons of reasons why I love LoSo, but here are my top five.

  1. You can get real-time tweets and Facebook updates on the app that focus on what people are saying about the restaurant, bar, or location you’re going to or are nearby. This way you can determine lines, waits, if the place is fun or not, etc., without ever having to supply your location.
  2. There are no locations for subway stops and things where people aren’t social.  However, I believe you can find info for it from feeds.  This can be a downside, but also one of the reasons I like it.
  3. In specific markets, which are growing fast, restaurants and bars are setting up rewards, points, and deals for checking in. They could be anything from free food to free drinks, VIP access and more.
  4. To my knowledge, LoSo is the first app to offer video messaging AND check ins. It’s called the What’s Up feature and you can leave a video message for your friends or anyone else saying what’s happening at the club or if you’re leaving for another one. It’s a great way for people to find each other and make new reservations or plans without having to wait for everyone to answer their phones or actually show up on time.  It can also help to determine if now is the best time to arrive somewhere or if you should come back later.
  5. You can be social. If you find users that are similar to you, you can follow them, view their What’s Up videos, and discover what people with similar interests are thinking and saying.

It’s a shame to see Gowalla leave the space, but it sounds like Facebook has something large planned for their team. In the meantime if you’re looking for an alternative to Gowalla, LoSo could be a great one for you. LoSo is currently on my phone, and I’ve spoken with the owner. Based on what I’ve heard, I’m very excited to see what else LoSo plans to add in the future.

About Adam Riemer

Adam Riemer has been an Online Marketer for over a decade. Having worked in house and on his own, Adam Riemer helps both large and small companies develop, execute and analyze Marketing campaigns for ROI and branding in both the B2B and B2C world. You can reach Adam or find out where he is speaking or which Clients he is working with by visiting his blog at http://www.adamriemer.me or follow him on Twitter @rollerblader.

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