MyCityWay’s check-in and location-sharing iPhone app Clingle has added location-based gifts in its latest update, so you can now surprise your family members or friends with gift cards that are revealed to them when they get to the store.
When Clingle was first launched in October this year, it was a free iPhone app that allowed you to check in from locations and leave ‘clings’ there, which were snippets of text, photos or audio that Clingle users in the vicinity later could then see. It was a way for Clingle users to leave each other tips about what to order at a restaurant or which store had the best collection of shoes in a shopping mall.
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The other social aspect of the app was to enable you to keep track of where your friends were and what they were up to. You could create groups of friends when you were going on a trip somewhere and use Clingle’s check-ins and tagging features to create a travelogue. You could even leave clings for your friends at certain locations as surprises for them to ‘unlock’.
Although the service was originally targeted at people in India, Singapore and in New York City, an update last month saw it expand its coverage to the whole of USA and the UK, besides adding video clings to its mix of features. It has since expanded to include Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, and MyCityWay plans to cover the entire globe soon.
Building on its existing surprise clings feature and a comprehensive database of locations, Clingle has now added the ability to send location-based gift cards. The next time you are in a Starbucks or an American Eagle store, or even seated in the comfort of your home, you can buy and leave a gift card for your Clingle or Facebook friends at that location, allowing them to unlock it when they get there.
Since Clingle is all about interactive check-ins, you can pair that gift card with a text, image, audio or video cling, to make the whole thing more interactive. Clingle will also alert you when one of your contacts visits a git-enabled store, if you so choose, and you can then instantly send them a gift card through Clingle.
The app uses the soon-to-be-launched iStash to provide integration with over 40 retail stores and you can send gift cards for any of them to your Clingle friends by paying for them by entering your credit card info in the app (which may actually be against Apple policy, but the app is currently available on the App Store, so perhaps we are wrong).
Clingle itself will also be offering free gift cards to its users as rewards for various achievements. For instance, if you join Clingle and leave 25 clings for your friends, you’ll unlock a $5 Starbucks gift card.
Gifting dos not just work with your Clingle friends either—the app allows you to send gifts to your Facebook friends too, but they’d have to join Clingle to be able to redeem them, which is a bummer. We also hope to see Clingle quickly add more stores to its catalogue, and perhaps gifting options other than just gift cards.
However, the system is pretty well-designed overall and adds a touch of fun to the gifting process. If you’re planning to give gift cards to anyone this holiday season, it might be worth giving Clingle a shot.