Gowalla - where's my ROI?

November 8 2010

I first signed up to Gowalla early this year, but left my account untouched, just to see whether any of location based services would catch on.

Fast forward to August, and for some reason I felt the urge to give Gowalla a try, in the hopes that it would compliment my other social media outlets.

I opted for Gowalla over the other one out of my respect for Tim Van Damme’s work. I’ve been a follower of Tim’s work for some time now and his freelance stuff on Gowalla’s website is very nice. Because of this I figured Gowalla would at least be aesthetically pleasing. A few minutes later I downloaded the iPhone app and away I went.

Over the past few months, I’ve checked in a whole bunch of times, added friends, earned a few badges and even added some new spots. However there’s one question that I seem to be asking myself lately, now that I’ve used Gowalla for a considerable amount of time.

What value is Gowalla providing?

It turns out, absolutely nothing!

As far as I’m concerned, Gowalla is a one-way broadcast, with no interaction between users. There’s nothing new to discover and the game mechanics are quite pathetic.

I’m close to deleting the app and leaving my account to expire, but before I do, I wanted to get a feel for other peoples opinions of Gowalla, and location based services in general. Are you finding they have any utility?