Is the Check-in dead in 2011, or just nailed to a service?

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Over on ReadWriteWeb, Mark Watkins takes a global look at the world of the check-in, the act of letting a social network such as Foursquare or Gowalla know where you are. He’s not sure that these location networks are able to maintain their growth or stay as a pure service. What do you think?

The value is not in a pure social play, because check-ins are faltering and could well become one of those things that people don’t do any more. The winners in that will be sites like Facebook, where the location element is something that is there, but not a core product, or the likes of Groupon where location is the starting point for the service.

It’s certainly a safe prediction to make, but I wonder how much of this is down to clunky technology? Anything that can automate the process as much as possible, while retaining security of personal information, will mean that a tipping point of use is easier to achieve.

And in all of this it’s worth pointing out that while Nokia have location as part of Ovi Maps, the value is in the ability to check-in to multiple services, in the links to third party services like Yelp, and in keeping location as a piece of data, not the core of a business plan.

More at ReadWriteWeb.