Official FourSquare App For Nokia Ovi Store Releasing Soon

Nokia has been building an in-house app for the popular location-based check-in service, FourSquare. The new service will not be a part of the Nokia Ovi Maps service that has recently got its own social check-in service. Instead, this will be an independent application that has been developed by Nokia engineers in collaboration with FourSquare.

The app is expected to hit the Ovi Stores next week and according to Holger Luedorf, the VP of Mobile & Partnerships at FourSquare, partnerships with mobile manufacturers to help FourSquare reach out to a wider audience is primary in their expansion strategy. Luedorf also noted that FourSquare’s growth has been completely viral so far and the new partnership will boost this viral growth. The new FourSquare app from Nokia will be compatible with Symbian^3, 5.0 and 3.2 devices. Check out a demo of the app in action in the video below.

Yahoo – FourSquare Acquisition

Rumors are doing the rounds that Yahoo is eyeing popular location based startup FourSquare. The value of the deal is rumored to be $100 million.  According to reports on the Silicon Alley Insider, a source close to Yahoo revealed that the discussions have happened though nothing can be committed since Yahoo talks “to everybody“.

True? Maybe. But VentureBeat sees conspiracy in the whole affair. The website writes that the story could have been cooked up by investment bankers hired by FourSquare in an attempt to push the valuations of the company up. VB writes,

“Foursquare’s bankers are hoping to push the four venture capital firms said to be interested — Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures — into raising their bids from the currently rumored $80 million valuation by scaring them with the notion of a sale to Yahoo.”

Sounds logical. Where do you think the truth lies?

[via VentureBeat]

Facebook Working On FourSquare Killer

Checking-in” has suddenly become sexy and every startup in town is trying to incorporate it into their core service. After Yelp and Gowalla, Facebook too is trying to introduce a “check-in” feature to users of its mobile website.

Checking in was first introduced by New York based startup, FourSquare. The service that offered reward points for multiple check-ins has proved to be extremely popular among its users that other LBS startups too have been trying to introduce the service to their users.

However unlike Yelp or Gowalla, Facebook is a massive network that can squash the ambitions of a small time startup like FourSquare. However, Dennis Crowley, Founder of FourSquare seems unfaced and is in fact enthused by the entry of Facebook which could help make checking-in the “commodity of the year”. Crowley says

“I think we’re doing this better than anyone else and I think we’ll continue to do so. We have so much stuff on the whiteboard that we haven’t even touched yet… we’re really just getting started.”

Competition in this segment is just heating up and it will be interesting to see how 2010 pans out for each of these startups.

[via Business Insider]

For Google, It is Now Location Location Location

The past few months has shown an apparently changed stance from Google. We have seen the Big G focus rather explicitly on two things – Mobile and Location based applications.

For starters, here are a few things
Google has been working on building the next big mobile platform – Android 2.1
Google is very soon bringing its own mobile handset – the Nexus One
Google was rumored to buy Yelp, the regional hotspots review website
Google distributed close to 190,000 stickers to small businesses for users to easily get info about these businesses

These are just a few of them. But it is not too difficult to fathom why. As a matter of fact, most of Google’s biggest competitors are taking the same strategy considering that location and mobile internet are going to be really big in just a few years now.

That makes us wonder, if FourSquare is a nice fish for G to catch!