After millions of people have willingly handed over their location data to a multitude of companies running location based services, I ask you this question: Why do the tools the businesses have still suck?
Why is there no simple business account on foursquare that enables business owners to interact more dynamically with patrons? I know there are business accounts, but I still see companies creating accounts and friending people. Where is the tool that lets businesses blast out geo-targeted deals, or interest targeted deals? Where is the system that alerts a business owner when regulars or mayors show up? Why can’t we be “fans” of a business?
Gowalla is similarly lacking in focus on the business end of things. Where are the options for business owners to claim their venue? Drop custom items? Create their own challenges (could be excellent for chambers of commerce)?
Maybe I’m jumping the gun and we’ll see a roll out of these services in the next few months. Who knows, maybe a cpm based push message ad system is in the works for foursquare, tied in with check-ins, and coupon redemptions and you can quickly see the $100M valuation taking shape.
Or do they just need to build out business APIs and let creative people fill these holes?