SCVNGR Attributes Facebook Places For Growth In Traffic

SCVNGR, the location check-in service and mobile game, has seen a big boost in user numbers since its integration with Facebook Places two weeks ago.

The Google-backed company won’t reveal its user numbers but a spokesman told me there had been 100,000 new downloads of the app in the last two days. The company believes that growth is directly linked to its Facebook integration.

As well as integrating with Facebook, SCVNGR recently launched its rewards scheme in Boston- the first stage of a planned roll-out of rewards in multiple cities. This pushed SCVNGR into the top 50 apps on iTunes, which provided another boost. All this created a virtuous circle of downloads leading to activities and activities leading to more downloads.

The spokesman said: “We’re seeing tons more people posting SCVNGR activity to Facebook and because this activity is so interesting and involves challenges, beyond check-ins, it’s getting lots of comments and likes. This means it’s getting lots of visibility in Facebook’s activity stream ranking algorithm which means tons of visibility for SCVNGR.

Since SVNGR won’t reveal user numbers it’s hard to place this in context, but I believe 100,000 downloads in two days is fairly impressive. It will be interesting to see how the service grows over a longer period of time. As I predicted when SCVNGR announced its integration with Facebook, Places seems to be providing the service with a healthy marketing boost rather than sucking away its oxygen. The game elements of SCVNGR mean that Places is not a direct competitor and it’s small enough to benefit from the exposure to the wider Facebook audience. The fact that SCVNGR has full integration with Places is a key point as there would be no point if users had to input data into both services separately.

By contrast, Foursquare updates are still largely just posted as status updates on Facebook, without full Places integration. Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley hasdescribed Places as “boring”. Foursquare is currently adding about 18,000 users a day, according to an interview Crowley gave to the Los Angeles Times.

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