Here is an obvious thing. Foursquare and its clones including Japan made clones have to be happy with the Facebook’s decision about their location service.
Anyway, they must have ideal strategies to beat their enemies. There’re a lot of clones here in Japan now. A big difference between Foursquare and Japan made clones is mobile clients. Most of Japan made clones support typical Japanese mobile phones unlike iOS/Android devices. It means they’re based on Japanese mobile phone culture. This difference is making some innovative movement right now. They get some ideas from typical Japanese mobile phones.
One of the biggest difference between iOS/Android devices and Japanese mobile phones is NFC support. Most of Japanese mobile phones support NFC but only a few models of Android devices support it. And Japanese mobile app developers already have some interests and knowledge about NFC.
OK, why we need to use NFC?
We use it for these kind of things:
- Cashless payment
- Pay for train tickets
- Touch to get/use coupons
Especially cashless payment market is a huge. Now I can live with only Japanese mobile phone to get my foods, coffee, and travel around. So, why not build some apps for this environment?
What’s an interesting strategy Japan made clones have?
Japan made Foursquare clones started to use NFC to check-ins. Japan made SNS giant mixi already launched the app. The app is only for a limited Android device though. The concept may change our life style.
If people can check-in without any effort like “launch an app, click to select current location, then finally check-in”, and if we can get some coupons when we check-in, what’s gonna happen? There is no reason to deny special offers at coffee shops and we will check-in to spread the special offers and the locations via our social media streams. This change may change our local shops advertising strategies.
Imagine if iPhone gets NFC
Apple’s decisions changed our life style and business structure recently. Once if they decide to use NFC, most of local shops will buy NFC devices to use it for their business, and users will start to play with it and love it. Not only iPhone. Google have Google+ as their own made social platform and also have Android devices with NFC support.
Their decision may change our life and business style within a few months.