My last session of SXSW Day 2 was with Andrea Vaccari, the CEO of the trendy location-based discovery startup Glancee. If you're not one of the 12,000 people already using the service (that's the number Andrea gave during the talk), well... you should give it a try, because everyone is talking about it. Yeah, we live in the echo chamber, I know.
Glancee, like its competitors Highlight, Sonar, Banjo, are all exploring the new niche of location social discovery - some sort of Match.com-meets-LinkedIn. Largely unproven space, but could be interesting if well explored.
Andrea spoke about the current status of social discovery apps and the different approaches taken by each player. He also mentioned the incredible growth (hard to see 12,000 as anything incredible, but ok), particularly with all the buzz around SXSW.
But to me the most interesting tidbit was the concept of monetizing the service via Spatial Analysis.
He didn't elaborate much, so let me speculate a bit here. Consider that you have a device on your pocket that is connected to Facebook (i.e. knows everything about your attitudinal behavior - including Likes, affinity with brands, reach, friends). You have Glancee installed, and as such it is constantly broadcasting your current geolocation. At. Every. Single. Minute. Like Google Latitude, but with Facebook social layer on top of it.
Not only it knows who you are and what you like, but also where you've been where do you work, live, play, shops you visit regularly, the preferred gas station, countries you've travelled.
All this leads to a level of geospatial analysis never seen before, using all your FB data as an extra dimension. You could plot heatmaps showing location of people that liked your brand on FB, and use to optimize out-of-home media placement. Or monitor the consumers of a competitor brand to plan new physical stores. Basically it's any marketer's dream come true.
Of course, it has just one small problem: it needs critical mass. You need tens of millions of users using the service, in order to have a meaningful representation.
That's why Andreas was so adamant when I asked him about his number one goal: "Growth. And fast".
Update 2012-05-04: couldn't be more correct in my speculation. Facebook just announced they're acquiring Glancee. I guess Andrea can scratch off "Growth" from his list.