Twenty-ten was a huge year for social media. There are more and more users, more and more sites, and endless amounts of benefits. However, the biggest boom in social media was probably location based social media. Many existing media sites, such as Facebook, have added ‘check ins’ to their sites, and sites like Foursquare and Gowalla have grown astronomically. So what’s in store for 2011 and location?
One new social media site that launched its beta site last month is Broadcastr. The site uses interactive maps to let users record or listen to stories based on location. Users can discuss anything, and according to the site, stories will cover a lot of ground: “from the historical to the hysterical, the hilarious to the anecdotal, Broadcastr amplifies all our voices.”
Location based social media brings a whole new element to the social aspect of social media. Many have argued for years that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, take out the socialization of “real” life. But with mobile smart phones becoming more common than not, users don’t need to be sitting at home in front of a computer to take advantage of using social media and location based social media even encourages being out and about.
Although there are cons to updating your whereabouts, including stalking and robbery worries (Anyone remember pleaserobme.com?), you don’t even have to be an active user to benefit from some sites like Braodcastr and Foursquare. Even without signing up for Foursquare you can still search for stores or places and read “tips” or reviews about them. I’d imagine this would be very handy if you’re new to a location and would like to find a good restaurant or bar to hang out at; a good indication of the business might be how many people are “checking in”. With Broadcastr, you could listen to stories and experiences people have had at different places, possibly giving insight to what places to avoid. You could even learn more about the city by taking “walking tours” with a virtual tour guide you listen to.
Location-based social media is a world that AllofE is immersed in. In December, AllofE partnered with nuCloud to assist in the development of a new version of nuCloud’s Interactive Campus Tour mapping platform . Mapping platforms are essential to many location based social media sites, but can also be beneficial to all sorts of sectors, especially universities. Interactive campus maps not only can help students find their way around campuses but could also help the university in its recruitment efforts by allowing potential students and parents tour the campus without even having to visit. Students could also see who’s “checking in” at their favorite campus spots.
So look out for the invasion of location in 2011. It’s going to be another great year for not only social media sites, but users of social media as well.
What would you like to see location based social media sites do this year?