A new location-based social network named Rally Up is now available for iPhone, (yes, it checks-in like Foursquare) targeting folks who are predominantly interested in communicating and maintaining privacy. Rally Up shares your location with a select group of friends thanks to check-ins of not only where you currently are, but also where you’re headed, which can easily facilitate meetups. A built-in messaging system goes a long way to enabling all kinds of coordination. Along with the Foursquare-esque check-ins are badges for accomplishing certain goals and leaderboards for most check-ins in a particular area, but the real emphasis is on keeping things private and limited to the people actually hang out with, not the folks to whom you just want to brag about your mayorship. As you can see, you can set each friend to mate, lurk, feed, or real visibility, depending on your relationship and comfort level.
The points of interest will rely a lot on user-generated content, much like the other networks, but is plugging in to Open Street Map, which has upwards of 1.7 million spots already ripe for the picking. When adding your own, you can include comments as well as pictures to that particular spot. Given that these guys also worked on 12seconds, I would hope that they eventually add the ability to upload geotagged video clips too, but for the time being, that’s wishful thinking. Temporary POIs are also available for one-shot events or parties, which is pretty handy. Rally Up interests me because it seems to strike a nice balance between the utility and privacy of Google Latitude, and the active social networking of Foursquare. Between Yelp, Gowalla, MyTown, Foursquare, and doubtlessly others, the check-in app market is getting quickly swamped, but I hope Rally Up manages to carve out a name for itself.
For more info and a closer look, you can hit up their website; Rally Up will also be coming to the iPad soon, if you’re into that kind of thing.
– Download Rally Up for iPhone (Free) [iTunes Link]