You may recall my post on FourSquare, where I talk about the benefits to retailers in using the ‘check-in’ service.
Since that write up, I’ve signed up for and played with nearly a dozen new sites and apps. In addition to Gowalla, Foursquare, and Brightkite, I’ve also used the check-in feature of Yelp, and Whrrl (although I lost my Whrrl account somehow, so had to setup a new account). I’m still unsure of the benefits of these services for consumers. Unless there is some kind of incentive involved, why should we check in? Some businesses have started offering rewards for checking in, but those rewards are still mostly only achievable by a few, not all of participants.
I was pretty excited to discover a geo-location service that finally offers all participants an incentive to checkin. The service has been around for a little while now (a lifetime though in web terms) – since May 2010. I am not sure why I haven’t heard of it – obviously their marketing promotions aren’t working… but here is my review of the service.
WeReward comes from the folks at Izea, a company that — for better and worse — wants to monetize the social web. But unlike their programs to inject ads into blogs or Twitter streams (of which I am not a fan), WeReward is a self-contained platform that’s transparent in its intent: bringing customers to local businesses via fairly conventional reward programs.
To get started, you need to download the app on your mobile device. You can easily sign in using Facebook Connect, Twitter of Foursquare. Then you can find local businesses who have signed on to participate in the service. If I check in at a restaurant (or post a photo of me holding some brand of product), the business pays WeReward for my visit or post, and WeReward passes a few cents back to me. It’s really simple, and is a win-win for both consumer as well as business.
- Discover rewards, follow instructions, earn points, earn money.
- Refer friends, and earn 10% of their rewards.
This last one I’m still struggling with… it is a little too MLM-like for me, but for now I’m going with it – in fact BIG DISCLAIMER – if you click on any of the ‘WeReward’ links in this post, and you sign up, I will earn 10% of your rewards.
This is the feature I really like about this service. In addition to earning points for checking in, you can also complete tasks to earn points. This makes it a little bit more exciting for the participants than just “checking in”, and the return in terms of customer engagement is even more valuable to businesses. For example, when I check in to my local Outback Steakhouse, I can claim my reward by taking a photo of myself with my food (making sure their logo is in the photo).
WeReward allows you to combine your check-ins with Foursquare check-ins. So if you’re a Foursquare user, you might as well use WeReward, and earn money for the time you would have already spent checking in. If WeReward adds additional services like Gowalla, BrightKite, Yelp, and Whrrl, the value proposition would get even better.
There seems to be a large hole in the model if this service is supposed to be ‘social’. It really isn’t… I can’t see what my friends are doing, and there isn’t any sort of social networking features within the product. I can ‘share’ where I am – just like most other geo-location services, however I can’t find my friends within WeReward – their check ins, how much they’re earning, what are they doing… I can only interact with WeReward and the businesses, not other users. Knowing the guys over at Izea, they are working on building this ability in to their product sometime soon.
Now – if only there were ONE service that would allow me to check in to all the geo-location services… because I can’t keep up with them all!
Check out the ‘how to’ video from WeReward. And let me know what you think!