Tagwhat, the maker of an app that focuses on location-based content (from articles to video and audio), recently announced a move into the business end of location services with new features that help users find offers from nearby merchants. The service now will pull time- and place-sensitive deals directly from Facebook (and other social networks), displaying them next to to the place-related content already provided to users.
While these new features may seem like a shift from Tagwhat’s original focus on place-based content curation, CEO Dave Elchoness told Street Fight last week that providing this kind of actionable content was always part of his company’s plan: “Our goal has always been to connect content with people in the context of their location and their interests so that they could actually act on that content … where [it] was relevant,” he said.
Tagwhat is hoping to offer a sort of personalized clearinghouse for location-relevant information that mobile consumers might desire at any given time, according to Elchoness, who says that disparate information about places needs to be aggregated. “You’re going to want all those things in one spot and you’re going to need to simplify how we get at those things and one of the key filters is location,” Elchoness said.
With his company aggregating relevant deals from Facebook and other social media, Elchoness sees Tagwhat sidestepping an issue that’s made it more difficult for merchants to connect with consumers — the fact that users have to “like” merchants’ pages to find the promotions in their feed.
“In order for me to see the restaurants’ promotion, I need to ‘friend’ the restaurant. And even if I friended the restaurant, I’ve got so much noise in my feed that I may never see it,” Elchoness said. “Even if I do see it, I’m never going to really see it when I’m near the restaurant at the time I can act on it.”
With these offers pushed through to the Tagwhat app and filtered by location, users will be able know what potential deals are available around them. In addition, it enables users to discover new places they may not have known about with recommendations based on their Facebook profiles.
In addition to providing local merchants with another channel to promote and utilizing the popular strategy of reaching consumers where they are when they are making decisions, this transition may also transform Tagwhat’s application from being a once-in-a-while app to something that consumers check more regularly. Elchoness said a problem the company had been confronting was that users aren’t in “tourist mode” all the time. And since most people go to the same places fairly frequently, Tagwhat’s app would “run out of that rather quickly.”
Isa Jones is an editorial assistant at Street Fight.