Opinionaided, recently reviewed on IntoMobile, decided to use its far-reaching user base to learn which social apps were considered popular outside of the SXSW conference. According to these types of preliminary, vague, and inconclusive “reports,” Foursquare won the location battle (I say “battle” because the war is pretty much over) with Gowalla trailing in second, and GroupMe won the group messaging war with Beluga at a sad, distant second.
The IntoMobile team started the conference using Beluga, but eventually switched to GroupMe since Beluga is so incredibly buggy. Maybe this is something Facebook can fix. In our experience chats in Beluga would randomly and temporarily lose several hours worth of data. No one argued when a transition to GroupMe was suggested.
Now let’s take a look at Opinionaided’s data. What exactly are we looking at? Approval ratings. Opinionaided employees uploaded screenshots from these apps and asked simple questions like “Do you like Foursquare”? or “Do you like Uber?” Users have two options when voting: thumbs up or thumbs down. For example, 65% of Opinionaided users who saw the question about Instagram gave a thumbs up rating. Keep in mind that these results were gathered from an audience consisting of smartphone owners who have not only heard of many of these apps, but have actually used them too. There’s nothing scientific or thorough about this study, and, along with the pundits’ reports, they should be taken with a huge bucket of salt. On a personal note, as a published author of scientific research, these studies are insulting, and should only be mentioned after a moment of silence during a debate about who’s going to win this year on Dancing With the Stars.
Anyone who attended SXSW should be shocked by some of these results.
- Instagram certainly belongs in the #1 spot for average users considering its insane success in the past few months. No one was really talking about Instagram at SXSW, but everyone was using it.
- Foodspotting had an awesome food truck event, but I’m still disgusted every time someone interrupts a dinner conversation to take a picture of food. I used it once to get the Foursquare Platformer badge.
- Addieu had a thoroughly entertaining founder running around the conference. Check out the hands-on demo.
- Foursquare was #4? REALLY? The Foursquare team had an actual foursquare court set up in the Pepsi MAX lounge. If you played a round you got a free tshirt and stickers. They also teamed up with Pepsi MAX for a Big Boi concert that took place in a retired power plant.
- Yobongo employees wore Yobongo shirts… every day. It was weird.
- Hashable was in use all over the place since SXSW is primarily parties and networking. However, if you take out your phone to play with Hashable while I’m getting to know you, it’s over. Just hand me a damn business card.
- WalkIn was one of this year’s StartupBus winners.
- GroupMe took over a small restaurant and offered BBQ for several days. Delicious.
- Uber was a mess with their pedicabs. The drivers I spoke to weren’t happy with the service, and my experience was less than stellar. Once I got a message saying none were available. Okay. Another time the pedicab driver wanted $20 per person. NO. The third time a non-Uber pedicab told me they were with Uber and then demanded cash after the trip (when you use Uber it’s all charged to your credit card).
- Situationist. Sorry never heard of it. I didn’t see anyone using or talking about it. Sounds like a Jersey Shore app.
- GroundLink. I’m pretty sure I saw a car with “GroundLink” on the door at night. I could be mistaken. The nights are blurry.
- Neer. Who? Missed that one.
- IntoNow was totally irrelevant at the conference since no one was watching TV. However, I really enjoy the service and IntoMobile has a cool hands-on video.
- SWAGG. Again, not relevant for SXSW.
- Fast Society was briefly discussed by the IntoMobile group for keeping in touch.
- Skifta certainly looks cool, but I didn’t hear about it at the conference.
- Hurricane Party was advertised at SXSW, but spontaneous parties didn’t require an app. You could trip and fall into a party no matter where you were.
- GroupedIn. Oh GroupedIn. You pushed and pushed and pushed, but… nothing. GroupedIn had stickers, flyers, posters, driving billboards, giant posters on buildings, tshirts, etc. It was exhausting. The best part? You open the App Store, search for “GroupedIn”, and you see an icon that wasn’t on any ads. WHY? Seems like a Marketing 101 branding mistake.
- Beluga was great until the IntoMobile team realized it doesn’t work. Good luck with that, Facebook.
- SCVNGR‘s CEO, sorry “Chief Ninja,” gave a fascinating keynote speech about adding a game layer on top of life starting with the “broken” education system.
- HeyWire. When will the group messaging stop?! Didn’t see this one in action.
- Whrrl was mentioned during SCVNGR Chief Ninja’s keynote speech, and apparently came in 4th place in the location app battle.
- Kik was AMAZING during SXSW. Employees were walking around buying coffee for people, and they set up a concierge service in the app. I chatted with Austin natives about where to go for various meals, and I received help arranging cabs. Thanks again, Kik!
- Gowalla, an Austin native with stickers strategically placed in restaurant and retail windows, was heavily used by SXSW attendees. These aren’t your typical users; they want to check in to multiple services simultaneously and Gowalla offers that functionality.
IntoMobile readers who attended SXSW: what were you favorite apps? Which have lived up to the hype for you?