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Apple Preparing to Bite into Geolocation Social Networking

I just read an article in Information Week that Apple has filed a patent for technology that would let it create a geolocation social network similar to Foursquare.

This is a pretty interesting development, since I just wrote about Foursquare yesterday, and what its service could mean for marketers.

According to the article, the patent application describes a service called iGroups that would enable people to share geographic location data in order to connect using an iPhone or other mobile device. People who agree to join the network would be able to broadcast information in real-time through text and instant messaging and also share files, such as pictures or video.

People who don’t have iPhones could still use the service too. It’s not mentioned in the patent application, but it’s possible Apple’s MobileMe service could be used to add mobile phones without GPS to a group.

The application says, “Concert attendees in a group can be sent coupons to purchase music or other items related to the concert or invited to join a fan club of the performer, etc.”

Just because Apple filed the patent, doesn’t mean it will launch iGroups, and the company has a strict policy about not commenting on future products. But, there are signs Apple means business with this product. Last year it bought a mapping company called Placebase. And it has thwarted rival Google’s attempts to leverage the iPhone for location-based services – refusing to let Google offer Latitude, a Google Maps location-sharing service, thru the iTunes App Store. As a result, users can only access Latitude thru iPhone’s Safari Web browser.

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About the Author
Known as The Insightful Copywriter, Gloria Grace Rand is also an inspirational speaker, author and host of the Live. Love. Engage. podcast. Prior to launching her SEO Copywriting business in 2009, Gloria spent nearly two decades in television, most notably as writer and producer for the award-winning PBS financial news program, “Nightly Business Report.”

Gloria turned to writing as a way to communicate, since growing up with an alcoholic father and abusive mother taught her that it was safer to be seen and not heard. But not speaking her truth caused Gloria problems such as overeating, control issues, and an inability to fully trust people. After investing in coaching & personal development programs, and studying spiritual books like “A Course in Miracles,” Gloria healed her emotional wounds. Today, she helps entrepreneurs develop clarity, confidence and connection to the truth of who you are, so you can create a business that has more impact, influence and income!

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