This is an interesting move. Google has opened up it’s Places APi to gaming start up SCVNGR who have now just launched globally.

SCVNGR “brings together gaming and location-based applications and now has more than half a million users.”

It’s a downloadable app that has the same functionality as Foursquare and Facebook places but takes things a little further in the sharing stakes. Like Foursquare where if you check in regularly at your favourite places you earn points and mayorships, here you can also earn points from extended activities such as ‘bumping’ phones with someone else, sharing a photo, or leaving a comment.

What’s obviously different with SCVNGR is that it’s back by Google. As with all these tools the more people you know using them that are close to you (by location) the more fun the ‘game’ can be as you leave tips and figure out just how close you are to your friends as you travel around your locale.

The key to this working to everyone’s benefit however is how quickly and how many businesses take up the opportunity to reward those who use theses services to check in and are therefore creating advocacy for businesses by spreading the good word and the name of the establishment.

In much the same as the loyalty card at your local caffeine emporium is a daily staple I’m sure that the these tools will be too but for the time being I’ll have to be happy being a lonely early adopter!

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Not in the least bit copyrighted by Tim Aldiss 2012