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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Those who call Facebook’s new location feature a “Foursquare killer” might not want to speak so soon. Instead, a check in with advertisers reveals the brands that have embraced the space are sticking with location-based apps that made check-ins chic in the first place.

At least three brands — Ford Motor, General Motors and PepsiCo — all maintain they are no less likely to consider them for location programs, despite existing and “significant” relationships with Facebook. “I don’t think there’s anyone ‘more attractive’; we’re not looking at it that way,” said Bonin Bough, PepsiCo’s global director of digital and social media.

Moreover, Facebook’s privacy problem could be a stumbling block for some like Ford. “People will first have to take a hard look at Facebook’s approach to privacy, which may make this new geo-location irrelevant,” said Scott Monty, Ford Motor Co.’s global digital and multimedia communications manager.

“It’s not exactly the right time for Facebook to ask users to share any more data on their network,” said Augie Ray, social-computing analyst at Forrester.

Facebook has the size advantage, at 450 million users to Foursquare’s 1.2 million and Gowalla’s 250,000. But these existing players have an attraction due to their lean influencer communities, game play and standing experience with brands — not to mention their first-mover advantage that might give the little guys a chance against social networking’s 800-pound gorilla.

THE LITTLE GUYS

GOWALLA 250,000 USERS
Focuses on travel. National Geographic and Washington Post are joining with Gowalla to offer unique content.

FOURSQUARE 1.2 MILLION USERS
Continues to roll out content programs with publishers and brands. Has a substantial base of local businesses.

BRIGHTKITE 1.5 MILLION USERS
Founded in 2005, Brightkite launched its first big brand program this month for Starbucks with branded badges.

MYTOWN 2 MILLION USERS
This Monopoly-like game lets users buy real estate by checking in to real-life locations. Has so far only inked small sponsorship deals with brands such as Pinkberry.

LOOPT 3.5 MILLION USERS
Loopt will be launching a service for retailers who can use the app for loyalty-reward programs

Read more at Ad Age Digital

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