Just as Foursquare’s check-ins have become passe, a handful of apps built on the company’s platform motivate users to keep checking in.
Even Foursquare recognizes that the check-in is dead. The company revamped its entire app as a local search recommendation engine earlier this year and Dennis Crowley has made the passionate case that this is really what he wanted to build all along.
He just needed all that check-in data to build it. Now that he’s got it, he doesn’t care quite so much about check-ins.
But apps built on Foursquare’s platform do, and they’re actually motivating people to check in more. That includes two TechStars NY grads, Timehop and Rewind.me, each of which makes check-in data more useful. The much-loved Timehop tells you, through its app or email, what you did one year ago today, according to Foursquare check-ins, Tweets and Facebook messages. As a user, I’ve been more likely to check-in to be sure I get an email about what I did a year from now. It makes Foursquare into an effortless sort of diary. Rewind.me takes that check-in data a step further, synthesizing it into useful insights about your behavior.
In addition to Foursquare data, Rewind.me pulls in feeds from Facebook check-ins and Instagram locations. It will eventually add TripIt, Fitbit and others, creating a record of your activity and habits with ones “digital exhaust.” Since our social media data is being bought and sold anyways, we should at least get a look at it, and possibly benefit from it.
The ultimate business plan for the company is to first let people control and own their data. And secondly, to use it as a currency with brands. Right now advertisers and publishers use browsing history in the form of cookies to buy and sell the ads we see online. That won’t be the case forever, with Microsoft and Apple discouraging cookies in their browsers, and mobile browsers not using them at all. Eventually, founder Craig Danuloff predicts, cookies will be replaced by personal data. And when it is, Rewind.me users will own theirs.
Today the company launched the next step in its development, a Klout-like score called R:Factor. The score measures of the quantity, quality and other attributes of your experience in a single activity category. It goes from one to 100, comparing you to friends and strangers in each category of check-ins. Once they’re calculated they’re added to a leaderboard among your friends categorized by say, breakfast spots, which Rewind.me can tell you you’ve visited 3.2 times a month on average. “It’s understanding how you compare in the world and to friends,” Danuloff says.
As the Aristotle quote goes, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Rewind.me shows us a picture of what we repeatedly do. “I’ve found by looking at the top scores of many many of my friends, it is an interesting and accurate picture of who they are,” Danuloff says. Next year the company will begin delivering rewards based on status and stature.
Danuloff previously founded ClickEquations, which sold in 2011. He’s also build an ecommerce company called iCat Corporation, wich sold to Intel in 1998. In June Rewind.me raised $800,000 from First Round Capital, TechStars, New World Ventures, KBS+P Ventures, Silicon Alley Venture Partners, and Esther Dyson, Erik Jansen, Barry Silbert, Jonathan Peachey, Greg Cangialosi, Ed Zimmerman, Greg Raifman, and Josh Guttman.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]