What is FourSquare, CheckPoint, Gowalla and Location Services?
This is the number one question my social networking connections ask me about. They see short posts on my Facebook or Twitter accounts and wonder what those check ins are all about.
Using my smartphone and software applications, I access location based services and let others know where I am.
- A smartphone is a handheld computer with much more functionality than the basic cell phone.
- Apps are software programs than run on smartphones. Download apps from your phone store.
- Location based services use global positioning systems (GPS) and software on smartphone to locate the user’s position and deliver specific content based on the location.
Here are the location based services I use most often to check in and why I use each of them.
With WeReward, users earn points, which can be converted to cash. When you are at a location, search for the business name using the free app. Check in by taking a photo of the business or using the product. The app will indicate the requirements for each check in.
Feel free to leave a comment or tip about the location when you check in. You can also earn points for using products or downloading apps.
I like this app because I can earn $30-$50 a month by checking in at the places I visit during my normal day. Money is deposited directly into a PayPal account.
Check ins with FourSquare earn badges and bragging rights. Those who check in the most often at a location become the Mayor. Users leave tips for others about great deals, places to park or nearby businesses.
Businesses are marketing to customers using FouSquare offering specials to those who check in. At some restaurants, a check in will earn a free appetizer with your meal or a discount.
The FourSquare Mayor of the business is a best customer and can be rewarded with special “Mayor only” discounts.
Users check in at location and earn virtual items they can collect or trade at other locations. One of the fun things to do is post picture from your favorite spots or share tips about locations.
What I like about Gowalla is that I never know when I will earn a virtual item. It is fun to collect and swap the trinkets as I run errands.
Which Checkpoints users earn points for checking in and scanning the bar codes of products at stores. Purchasing the product is not required. Each product you scan is worth a specific number of points.
What I like about Checkpoints is the points I earn can be converted for gift cards at companies like Home Depot and Apple. When checking in, coins are earned which can be used to play a virtual slot machine or scratch off card game.
Checkpoints: Sign up using my code “aprilmwilliams” to get extra points.
With Shopkick awards points when checking in at locations. Additional points are earned by scanning the UPC code of specific products in the store. There is no requirement to purchase these items.
You can earn virtual stamps and badges by using your account.
What I like about Shopkick is points can be converted to gift cards for retailers like Best Buy, Macy’s and Target.
Are you using other location based services? Click on comments and let us know which apps you use.