For location-based apps like Siter, user-generated content will be king

Apr 1, 2011
Tech

There is a lot of money to be made for any app developer to figure out how to develop a mobile phonebook for the iPhone, Android devices and Blackberries that has critical mass.  Launched on March 9th, Siter hopes to do just that as the service links domain names with associated phone numbers for what […]

There is a lot of money to be made for any app developer to figure out how to develop a mobile phonebook for the iPhone, Android devices and Blackberries that has critical mass.  Launched on March 9th, Siter hopes to do just that as the service links domain names with associated phone numbers for what the developer calls “domain dialing”. In order for the app to achieve optimal performance, business owners and representatives would need to check and update the phone numbers linked to their domain names.

Siter joins a growing number of location-based mobile apps that link consumers and businesses. Many of these apps rely heavily on relevant, user-generated content for usefulness and accuracy, and the competition to engage users has never been greater.

Foursquare and Gowalla, both location-based apps launched in 2009, currently boast seven million and one million users respectively, according to a report by Caroline McCarthy for CNET.

In both apps, users “check-in” at locations to let friends know where they are, find friends nearby, read and create reviews and tips about the locations, earn virtual rewards in the form of badges and stamps and real rewards in the form of discounts and other promotional incentives. While both apps have found considerable success – including a campaign by German pet food company GranataPet and another celebrate the 100th anniversary of a New York Public Library building – for every foursquare and Gowalla there are thousands of apps looking to achieve the same scale.

READ  The Ultimate Guide to Phone Security

Getting to critical mass is the hardest thing

The Siter app pulls up phone numbers associated with domain names in large part from the WhoIs registry. However, it is not uncommon for Siter to pull up the corporate phone number in its database of 26 million phone numbers instead of the local number users desire for a Target store.

The onus is upon the business to update its own directory listings to include that information. This is easier said than done, and will be critical to Siter’s long-term success. Much like the business directory websites Merchant Circle and Manta (neither of which have launched a location-based app), in order for Siter to be relevant, businesses will need to perceive value in it and enter the appropriate data.

Competition among websites and apps for both consumers and businesses to contribute relevant content is intense. The ability of developers to create enough valuable content, and engage users at a level that successfully encourages them to contribute relevant content, is what will likely determine the front-runners in a competition that will only continue to heat up as these types of apps and websites gain popularity.

Search for more

Christopher Brinckerhoff

Christopher is a freelance reporter in the Chicago area. His work has appeared in multiple publications including Patch, Printing News and, of course, Appolicious. To learn more please visit http://www.christopherbrinckerhoff.info.

    Home Apps Games