Social location and gigging go hand-in-hand, judging by the number of our friends eagerly checking in on Facebook or Foursquare before leaping into the moshpit. But what if someone invented a social location service specifically for music?
Well, they have. It’s called Flowd, and it launched on the App Store and Android Market stealthily in the summer. Today is its formal launch though, complete with DJ Armin van Buuren and boy-band The Wanted.
(Okay, The Wanted are pretty pish, but Armin is a big cheese in the disco-biscuits world.)
Anyway, the idea behind Flowd is that you check-in as normal to real-world locations, and then ping your check-ins plus any status update you wish to add to Twitter and Facebook.
You can follow friends to see their activity appear in your feed, and follow artists to see what they’re up to. For now, that’s just their status updates and photos, but early next year Flowd will be adding video and audio – so you might be able to listen to a free song for checking in at a certain band’s gig, for example.
It’s an intriguing idea, although our one reservation is that Flowd isn’t using any of the available databases of locations – Google Places or Facebook Places for example. That means for now, chances are you’ll have to add your favourite locations yourself before you can check in. The obvious comparison is with social location game MyTown, which launched in the UK using the Google Places database, ensuring that even your local chip-shop was listed.
We’re also hoping Flowd follows Gowalla’s lead in allowing you to see the recent check-ins of your friends on other apps, including Facebook Places and Foursquare. Gowalla launched the feature this week, and we think it could work very well for Flowd if it really wants to become the main app of its kind that you use.
As ever, though, Flowd’s success will depend on how fast it gets lots of people (and bands) to sign up: this kind of service tends to be as good as the number of friends you have losing it, something that’s as true of Foursquare and all the other rivals.