Is Apple thinking about another social network?

| Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Almost everyone I know, geek and non-geek alike, has tried a location-based social network. Some of them, mostly the geekier crowd, have tried Gowalla and Foursquare, while the rest have been dabbling with Facebook’s Places app on their iPhone. Location-based services ruled the news cycle last year, and we’re pretty sure it’s going to continue into 2011. It turns out that Apple might also be thinking about getting into the location-aware game with a new service called ‘Find My Friends.’

When Apple released iOS 4.3 last night, some studious tinkerers stumbled upon a hidden feature called ‘Find My Friends’ while puttering around the new iOS beta. If you recall, the beginning of the location-based boom brought with it a lot of hype that focused on being able to find out where your friends were hanging out, in real time. But, no one has really delivered on that promise. Instead, most of the early location-aware startups seem to be focusing their energy on helping consumers find businesses.

Will it take someone like Apple to solve the ‘Finding your Friends’ need in our social lives. Do we even care anymore? There’s probably a market for it, so long as it isn’t buried deep behind MobileMe. But, given Apple’s success with Ping and Game Center, it’s hard to really get worked up for another failed social network from Apple.

Actually, I can’t even remember the last time I opened up Gowalla or Foursquare. Both were fun while they lasted, but manually having to manage where I was every time I went somewhere was something that I didn’t have time for anymore. Now, if I could opt-in to having ‘Find My Friends’ automatically tell my real-life friends where I am, I’d be all over that. But that probably won’t happen because of security concerns, and even if they did offer it, I still wouldn’t remember to login and check their location. I’d probably just send them a text message and ask them if they want to meet up.

The longer I spend writing this, the more I’m starting to think that a ‘Find My Friends’ application from Apple is a bad idea. I don’t use the ones I have, and I probably wouldn’t use Apple’s either.

Article Via MacRumors

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