Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Resistance Is Futile: SCVNGR Integrates With Facebook Places

SCVNGR, the mobile-social game, seems to be one of the first of many third-party social games to integrate with Facebook’s new Places location feature.

In the launch last week, a series of start-ups in the geolocation arena announced their cooperation with the social networking site’s effort to include their services into the offering using its social graph APIs.

As BoomTown wrote about the appearance of several of these companies at the event:

Up trotted Gowalla’s CTO and Co-founder Scott Raymond, who showed off Gowalla and Facebook integration.

Then a Foursquare exec–not [Founder and CEO Dennis] Crowley, who has apparently checked in at a Chipolte in New York at the time of the places launch–loped up to say how great it all is. Just great! Really! Frankly, what else would the Foursquares say at this point.

Next: Yelp dude. Great! Just great! Integration! Check-in and pull your Facebook friends into the Yelp app.

Of course, it would not be a set without Booyah’s Keith Lee. Loves it! Fun! Just great!

This felt like a slow-moving version of invasion of the geo-location snatchers, a parade of glassy-eyed hostages, some scurvy mates walking the platform plank. Aaaaarrrr.

All joking aside, given the power of Facebook, these companies need to piggyback on its location efforts.

SCVNGR’s take in the geolocation race is to allow users to check in, complete challenges and earn points for rewards.

It has raised about $5 million in funding from venture outfits such as Highland Capital Partners and Google Ventures–an investment that only adds to the irony here, since Google (GOOG) itself is about to launch a new social service to compete with Facebook.

Here is the press release from SCVNGR, which is located in the Boston area:

SCVNGR Launches Facebook® Places Integration

SCVNGR Check-ins and Challenges Can be Posted To Facebook and Shared with Friends

Boston–August 27, 2010–SCVNGR, the mobile-social game all about going places, doing challenges, earning points and unlocking awesome rewards, announced its integration with Facebook Places today. SCVNGR is among the first location-based mobile games to build and launch with the Facebook Places feature of the Graph API.

Starting today, activity completed on SCVNGR–such as checking in and doing challenges at your favorite places–can be tied to physical locations, integrated with Facebook Places, and shared with friends on Facebook. Photos snapped and shared as part of playing SCVNGR can now be streamed in your location-based activity feed.

Similarly, social activity happening at that place on Facebook will stream back to users via their SCVNGR app for the most up-to-date social snapshot of what’s going on around them. The integration introduces the fun of doing challenges and unlocking rewards on SCVNGR to the hundreds of millions of people on Facebook.

“What Facebook brings to the location-based space is nothing short of phenomenal,” said Seth Priebatsch, SCVNGR’s Chief Ninja. “It adds huge scale by bringing social location features to more than 500 million people. SCVNGR is leveraging this to distribute our premium social gaming content–people doing fun and interesting challenges at places, building such challenges and earning rewards–directly through the social graph.”

SCVNGR is as much a mobile social game as it is a full-fledged mobile gaming platform. Users, businesses and enterprises build on the game layer by adding challenges and rewards to their favorite places. Everyone who plays SCVNGR can also build SCVNGR. This makes the game layer fun, unique and in a state of constant flux, where users build (and re-build) the game at places all across the United States. By integrating with Facebook Places, SCVNGR is tying this game layer directly to the social layer by tapping into the world’s largest social platform.

You can play SCVNGR anywhere in the U.S. via the free SCVNGR app for Android or iPhone. To grab the app, start playing and unlock awesome rewards, visit www.scvngr.com.


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— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald