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An increasing number of geo-location/social apps are emerging to meet basic human needs, in this case bathroom lines.

Next time you are caught short or want to avoid never-ending lines in public bathrooms you simply have to fire up Cloo, a new mobile app that  will search through your friends to see who has available bathroom in the area!

They’ve also added  micro payments as an incentive into the service!

Download the app here

Contributor  Natalia Alonso

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Business Insider’s 2011 StartUp event in NYC.  One of the  guest speakers was Mayor Bloomberg’s Chief Digital Officer (CDO) Rachel Sterne who announced the upcoming release of an in-depth  recommendation for making  New York the most digitally progressive city in the world.  For a room full of entrepreneurs in a city that just surpassed Boston in venture capital investment, this was particularly relevant. The report,  titled “The Digital City was released today.  I’ve included a couple of top line bullets below.

  • The city has partnered with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr to serve as “one-stop shops” for city news
  • The city has plans to continue unlocking access to public information for use in open source applications and tools and plans to increase access to Wi-Fi networks  in parks and public areas
Read the entire report here

If you  participate in Foursquare, you may have received a few invites,  seen some facebook status updates and twitter posts  surrounding the launch of a site called Scoville.  While the site has been in beta for a couple months available to foursquare ‘superusers,’ it just hit the relative mainstream yesterday.

I’ve taken the leap, joined and done a little research so here’s what I’ve found.  From what I can tell, the site aggregates all your check-ins (via Foursquare) gives you one week to select your favorites and then allows you to schedule to post them once a week on what they’re calling  #TopTuesday.    As you build up your preferences, Scoville then begins to provide you with customized recommendation on new places to explore.  I’ll let you know how it goes on my first #TopTuesday.

Here’s a great visualization of social check-ins that a group called Social-Loco produced at their annual conference (socialloco.net).  Interestingly as you’ll see in this infographic there’s somewhat of a disconnect between what people are saying online, what early adopters are doing and the general public’s perception.

 

According to the Pew Research Center, only 4% of online American use location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla.  That said, the broader spectrum of location services like GPS, location-based weather alerts, store locators photo sharing and the likes are much higher as illustrated below in a recent eMarketer report.   It will be interesting to watch how these sites further adapt to this behavior to attract users.

 

via eMarketer 2011

 

 

 

 

SXSW Interactive in Austin will soon be upon us and buzz surrounding emerging social platforms is beginning to pick up speed and if you remember correctly, this was the event where Twitter surfaced in 2007  and Foursquare  battled it out with Gowalla.

In a recent article, Brandweek highlighted a few key players expected to grab most of the attention.    I’ve toyed around with a few of these, Instagram in particular and #hashtag more recently.  For those traveling in herds, I imagine services like GroupMe and Beluga gaining but it’s anyone’s guess which consumers will be most attracted to.

Beluga (beluguapods.com): A group messaging service similar to BBM but allows you to share locations, photos and most importantly allows users to avoid SMS charges.

Availability:  Android/iOS

GroupMe (groupme.com): A group chatting service that essentially brings private chat rooms to your mobile  phone but also includes  location sharing capabilities.

Availability:  Android/iOS/Blackberry

#Hashable (hashable.com) Networking application geared towards working professionals that allows you to broadcast what you’re doing and where with colleagues via a hashtag entry

Availability:  Android/iOS

Instagram (instagr.am): Photo-sharing application  that allows users to snap a photo, apply filters, add a comment and send it out for all the world to see

Availability:  iOS