Waze, the start-up that crowd-sources map creation and refinement by turning it into a game for smartphone users, has added a killer new feature to its latest release - Waze Groups. A next logical step in the LBS app feature war, grouping now allows Waze cliques such as families taking trips, friends organizing pub crawls, cab companies mapping cab positions, road builders transforming terrain, realtors coordinating their sales agents, and so forth, to map and view their respective positions in real-time. Members of Waze groups can also view status updates posted by group members so that messages that pertain to their experience can be shared intuitively.
All in all, this appears to be a smart strategic move by company looking to up its influx of user generated content while at the same time grabbing a bigger chunk of the LBS market. Expect to see more and more advanced geo-grouping features from companies like Foursquare, Gowalla, MyTown, Loopt, Yelp, etc, in the near future. Most probably have grouping features in the works. But those who don't will probably scramble to react once they realize this maneuver could threaten their core.
It's fun to watch the fast pace of the geosocial mobile apps! My bet is that it'll accelerate as more entrants jump into this hot new space.
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About Alvis Brigis
- Alvis Brigis is a media specialist and futurist residing in Los Angeles. Most recently, he was Executive Producer for The Future of Facebook, the first Open Foresight project to be funded and released, and Story Producer on History Channel’s Invention USA. He’s produced and written for TV networks including NBC, VH1, THC and Sundance Channel. He co-founded Future Scanner (a prediction harvesting tool), Swarmado (a mobile content-sharing app for events) and has developed a variety of forward-looking startups. Alvis serves on the advisory board of Acceleration Studies Foundation and blogs about the social side of accelerating change at Social Node. He’s also an avid sci-fi and comedy writer.