Kevin McCarthy

Foursquare, SCVNGR and Gowalla Comparison: Check-in Wars in the News

Boston’s FutureM week of panels in October created a wave of discussion about location-based services like Foursquare, SCVNGR and Gowalla. While questions like ‘Which service is best?’ is a subjective matter, questions like ‘Which gets the most media attention?’ is not. Using Pinyadda’s index we compared content from thousands of news sites and blogs, tracking the amount of headline mentions of Foursquare, SCVNGR and Gowalla. The results are represented in the graph below.

Here are some of my take-aways from this graph, and two other comparison graphs you’ll enjoy:

  1. Foursquare had way more media buzz over both time periods. Foursquare’s coverage is pretty consistent as well, seeing 47% of their headline mentions from June 1 to July 31 then 53% from Aug 1 to Sept 30.
  2. Gowalla had more total headline mentions since June 1st, but SCVNGR had significantly more mentions from Aug 1 to Sept 30. This is most likely directly correlated to SCVNGR’s recent, and seemingly successful, PR push guided focused on increasing the service’s consumer adoption.

Another useful exercise is to compare which publications are covering Foursquare and SCVNGR.*

Not surprisingly, a large proportion of SCVNGR’s media coverage has come from Boston-area publications, like this blog, Mass High Tech and Xconomy. With this information, we think it is safe to assume that the buzz around SCVNGR is still a very local phenomenon, as their push to be a more mainstream consumer service is still in its infancy.

*Gowalla was left out because no one wants to read about the MySpace of location-based services.

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