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This article was published on August 18, 2010


    3 Kinds Of “Ah-hah” Location Moments

    3 Kinds Of “Ah-hah” Location Moments
    Chad Catacchio
    Story by

    Chad Catacchio

    Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in th Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in the US and China. Check out his personal blog to connect with him or follow him on Twitter (if you dare).

    Regardless of whatever Facebook is about to announce, one of the things that we’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately is what is the “ah-hah” moment for most people that gets them use location services?

    Here’s what we’ve come up with so far:

    1. My friends use it

    We’d call this the most powerful kind of driver for adoption of any social service, and the one that a lot of people still claim hasn’t happened to them yet, i.e. lots of people complain that their “friends” (which in a social media context is a pretty flexible term) aren’t using location so why should they, right? This, more than anything could be where Facebook could make the largest impact.

    2. I get something tangible out of it while on the move

    This is where location services have a theoretical leg up on other kinds of social media – in order to use them (kinda), you need to be going places (sorta). While there are certainly services that let you share your “location” without ever leaving your house, moving around and sharing/storing your location as you go allows you in certain cases to get direct rewards for your activity, i.e. discounted coffee, etc. Of course, you have to already be using location services in order for this “ah-hah” to happen, so it’s more of a hook, than a adoption thing.

    3. It makes services I already use while on the move better

    Frankly, this is the one that we think will stick for most people. When location is used to augment and improve existing services in a way that make the location element a valuable and easy-to-understand piece of a service’s puzzle, then people will actively take part in location just as they would in other parts of a service they already use (Facebook is certainly banking on that, though we’d like to reiterate that still feel that everything will be a feature of location, not the other way around).