Thanks to Foursquare, the location-based service (LBS) is one of the hottest sectors in Chinese mobile industry. Startups like Jiepang, K.ai, Gypsii, Maopao etc together with those to-be-ready LBS services operated by big players (portals like 163, social network like Renren) are trying hard to educate the market and prove the location-based business model. With your location, you are now able to check what’s happening and what’s around you and who are around you. Location is cool, it’s the key factor differentiate the mobile internet from the ‘wired one’.
So what gives you the location, now most likely it is your mobile phone as lately most of the smart phones are GPS enabled. But when you think it over, it seems that we are forgetting some kinda old but actually the most useful features of mobile phones? For example, the phone camera and the contact list. It may not be necessary for you to do check-in, but pretty sure you are using phone camera to take pictures and of course browse/manage your phone contact list quite often. Lately I find myself, every time I take picture using my iPhone, I want to use Instragram for some nice effect; Carema360, the android-based photo application can even give you much more interesting effect and easy to use; That’s about Image, how about video clips? As for the contact list, imagine if you need someone’s email address but only have his mobile number stored, what will you do, probably call him directly or some friends in common and ask. What if there is a service which can auto-sync your contact details stored on your phone with the details of the same contact stored in your friends’ mobile? i.e. if your friend update a friend contact details, if that contact is also on your mobile, his details will be updated too. That is how Social Contact works, such as a service called Hozom. Service like Kik, Viber etc make your contact list even more interesting. These are much useful functions could make my life easier. Check-in is interesting, then what?
Location is not the trend, and the trend is the basic functions with location powered. Twitter taught us what’s real-time web; Foursquare taught us what’s location-based service; I think we are still waiting for something which can tell us mobile is not just about location.