Via way of GigaOm and thanks to @jeffharrison I found out that Brightkite is getting out of the social location check-in space… an interesting move, although not entirely a huge surprise, as the company seems to be planning to focus more on their group text functionality, which is apparently the fastest growing component of their services. This from GigaOM… “Now, group texting will move from an add-on service to become the main engine driving Brightkite, which has about a million users currently. The company said it hopes to become the default text messaging app for smartphone users, offering free messaging along with features like groups, photos and integrated location-sharing.” IS seems also that Brightkite is bolstering their Android offerings as seen in this blub from their blog... We are about to roll out our new Brightkite Android application that includes some exciting new features, notably the ability for Brightkite to be your default text messaging app – handling ALL your messaging from one app, saving you money with free texting while giving you many more capabilities than regular texting:
- Location sharing
- + More!
For the first time this will be a Brightkite app without check-in, posting or stream viewing functionality. FYI If you’d like to backup your old posts and check-ins, your data will be available until Dec, 31 2010 via RSS. You can use you favorite RSS reader (needs to support basic auth) to access the contents.
Brightkite has been a long time favorite of yours-truly, actually the app was one of the first social checkin services that I used several years ago. I actually first jumped on the Brightkite bandwagon thanks to Andre Hyde and the gang at Ignite Boulder who really embraced the app and used the social chatting functionality for checkin from the Ignite event but also for some fun chatter which was always up on the screen in the background during the lightning talks. Brightkite in my mind was way ahead of the curve, offering checkin long before it was cool, the app had a fabulous UI, and best of all, it supported sharing photos from your social checkin, a feature that got me hooked early. good luck to Brightkite as their services evolve. this could be a great move as twitter users will likely follow the trend and start burning out from their checkins as is frequently seen. I’ve noticed in the past that when following the early adopters of social check-in, a rapid decline in use and boredom aften appears after several months of use – the reason, boredom and lack or reward for the user.
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