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GPS obsessed

4 April 2016

ipoki: Location-Based Social Networking In Spain

If you’re not familiar with ipoki, it’s a GPS-enabled social network based in Spain that launched back in 2006.  Open to anyone with a GPS-enabled mobile phone, ipoki connects you with your friends, allowing you to share geolocation information in order to find them, track your own routes and even automatically geotag photos uploaded to Flickr.  Over at the NEXT web, co-founder of ipoki, Diego Fernández Domínguez reveals the inner workings of the location-based social network.

One of the challenges ipoki’s developers have dealt with over the past couple of years is the abundance of mobile operating systems and the costs associated with modding a platform to work on all.  Rather than go through the nearly impossible process of adapting an application to work on all possible mobile phones, ipoki has chosen to make the platform code open-source, basically crowdsourcing its development.  In this way, the operating systems of most benefit to the network are focused on and the network is further developed for them by its users.

Definitely an interesting business model, but that’s not the extent of the ipoki team’s intelligence.  They’ve also integrated the mobile service with popular web-based social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and have even recently partnered with popular mobile video platform Qik to share real-time location information with other users all while sending live video to other mobile devices.

Because ipoki is based in Spain, we doubt we’ll ever see it penetrate North America, especially with competitor’s such as Loopt and Whrrl dominating.  But if the team keeps their platform locally-focused, we’re sure we’ll hear more about ipoki in the future.

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