If you’ve visited any tech news sites in the past year, you may have noticed that location-based services are the hottest frontier in 2010. And if that newsflash isn’t exactly news to you, then you may have wondered which check-in service is tops. Well, we did too. So we decided to put the top three players to the test. And thus was born our 2nd quarter Bug Battle.
For this quarter’s competition/study, we decided to turn our testing community loose to compare and rank Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite — the top three check-in services that have a global footprint.
The high-level results were impressive: 300+ testers from more than 35 countries around the world reported nearly 900 bugs in the web & mobile apps of these three companies. You can get complete details in the Bug Battle report, but here are some of the noteworthy results:
- Foursquare had the least reported bugs (177), followed by Gowalla (316) and Brightkite (377).
- Foursquare was ranked #1 in ease-of-use, social media integration and connectivity with friends, while Gowalla took top honors in the important category of location accuracy.
- Very importantly, 80% of participants said they are concerned about how check-in services could impact their privacy/safety.
- 49% of all respondents chose “privacy & security concerns” as the top reason they do not use check-in services more.
So who cares? Well, the testers who reported the best web bugs, the best mobile bugs and provided the most insightful feedback (to be announced later this week) will take home nearly $4,000 in prize money. Who else cares? A lot of thought leaders and social media gurus found these results as fascinating as we did. In fact, this Bug Battle was covered by a collection of A-list pundits:
Mashable: Which App Does Checkins Best? [STUDY]
VentureBeat: Location check-in services are riddled with bugs
GigaOm: Checking In on Location-based Services: Foursquare vs. Gowalla vs. Brightkite
TheNextWeb: Some Reasons More People Aren’t Using Check-in Services
ZDNet: Study reveals bug factor in Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite
GoMo News: Foursquare beats Gowalla and Brightkite in mobile check-in Battle
Mobile Entertainment: Foursquare comes up trumps in uTest survey
WebProNews: Privacy and Security Still Obstacles for Check-In Services
Identity Blog: Why location services have to be done right…
Storefront Backtalk: Check-in Services Glitches Allow Customer Impersonation
InfoWorld: Location services: The security risks of oversharing
If you’re interested in the location-based apps space, these are must-reads. These social media savants made some great insights into our raw results. We’re always happy to compile the real-world data and raw feedback from our community, but these are the people who interpret, analyze and help make sense of all this. Apologies if we missed anyone (please add any links to other posts or articles in the comments and we’ll update this post).
This was, by far, our biggest and baddest Bug Battle to date. So special thanks to our community of testers, our special guest judges, and those journalists and bloggers who helped translate these Bug Battle results into interesting, thought-provoking perspectives on what it all means and where this space is heading.
Have ideas for our Q3 Bug Battle? Drop us a note and tell us which category we should test & compare next!