The supposedly hot thing this year is SoLoMo (previously known under the heading of hyperlocal). You may say that it’s nothing new, Yelp and FourSquare for instance have been at it for a while. But it has evolved from focusing on places (eg cafes) to people (eg you) with a slew of new apps. Thus confirming the quote: ‘If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.’ Anyway, here is a selection of SoLoMo apps that I’ve used.
Tagged is probably the least ‘Location/Local’ of the three. It is also the most licentious. It appears to be a dating site, more than anything. It even has a game where you buy other users as ‘pets’. About 50% of accounts appear to have fake avatars (porn stars). I could be wrong, of course, and 50% of its users really are big breasted exhibitionists who want to be my friend.
A much saner ‘world’ than Tagged. It highlights people who are near you that you either know (using your Facebook social graph) or have ‘friends’ who you may know. It also shows you how similar you are to them, based on your Facebook likes (eg you both like The Beatles). (Their logo was designed by a drunk person.)
Like Highlight, Sonar taps into your existing networks (Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook) to notify you of friends or friends of friends or people with shared interests who are nearby.
Wallit and Tagged should swap names. Wallit’s premise is that you write on a virtual wall when you are at a location. I don’t think it will stop tagging (in the graffiti sense), even though you can see the walls around you as augmented reality. Here’s how they explain how it works [video].
Hardly any activity on this app in my area, so hard to gauge its appeal.
Slightly different proposition than the other apps here. Rather than ‘who’s near me now’, it is about creating events or catching up with people in the future. A similar app to Cue or the Happiness Engines.