Users will connect to PopUp to share a note, checkin or photo tied to their physical location, and follow friends to see their notes. The dream usage of PopUp is walking into a new restaurant, and getting a recommendation from my foodie friend on a special dish to try ordering. Or maybe being the foodie friend, sharing a culinary find and leaving clever suggestions for future visitors to that eatery!
There’s a lot of potential here for cute, asynchronous social fun with this app. It would be great fun to see that a friend took a goofy Instagram at this landmark, and take my own picture doing the same thing at the same spot.
Of course, cute social photos aren’t how PopUp would monetize. PopUp’s presentation discussed how businesses could use these location-based pop-ups to advertise. Membership programs or shopper loyalty programs could alert users to coupons or discounts while in the store. Offering discounts for check-ins has been effective on FourSquare, and my personal fav, SCVNGR.
The PopUp team suggested that a possible use would be for a business advertising, via PopUp, to shoppers in a competitor’s store. This is delightfully scifi, but easily becomes a disaster of constant push adverts, like the one envisioned in M.T. Anderson’s dark future in the novel Feed. The nightmare use of PopUp is, say, stopping for coffee at Bedford Hill Coffee Shop, and getting an advert from every other coffeeshop in my hipster Brooklyn neighborhood, Franklin Street Coffee, Daily Grounds, and Starbucks for good measure, plus a local gym reminding me that cappuccino froth should be burned on the elliptical, and my bank suggesting I use my credit card to earn cashback on my coffee purchase.
I’m really interested in seeing where the startup PopUp goes next. The app is currently available in beta, under the cute codename dvdod on the iOs app store.