The State of the Location Industry

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The location industry has seen a lot of growth over the last year or so. Not only have more location-based services emerged, but some of the early players have also matured as businesses. In the past year, we've seen Facebook enter the market with Places and Foursquare hit 8 million users.

Have you gotten involved in the location phenomenon? Let us know.

"It's starting to really get some serious attention," said Aaron Strout, the Head of Location-Based Marketing at WCG.

There are services such as SCVNGR that bring challenges to the social check-in process. In addition, there are recommendation services like Bizzy, which is trying to popularize the idea of checking out instead of checking in.

Interestingly, Foursquare rolled out a recommendation service not long ago called "Discovery" as part of its Foursquare 3.0 release.

Google has also made a couple of attempts in the direction of location, and, if you remember, actually owned Dodgeball, which was a predecessor to Foursquare. But, according to Strout, they "haven't quite figured out the DNA of social yet."

Although we haven't seen a significant interest at this point, both Yahoo and Microsoft cannot be ruled out to becoming a part of this market.

Also, the deals services like Groupon and LivingSocial have a lot of potential to break further into location. Many of these services are hyperlocal but could even go a step further and reach consumers in their own neighborhoods.

"I think, over time, you're gonna see some consolidation, you're gonna see some acquisitions, but the bottom line is... no one's got the formula figured out yet," said Strout.

What do you see happening in the location space over the next year?

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