SCVNGR, a mobile-social game that lets users complete challenges at real-world locations to earn rewards, today announced an integration with Facebook Places using the Places APIs. The fifth third-party apps to do so, SCVNGR check-ins and challenge completions can be associated with a Place, and activity on the Places page of a location you’re visiting can be pulled back into SCVNGR’s venue pages. However, exactly how to push SCVNGR activity to Places is unclear, and existing activity on Places pages does not yet appear in the SCVNGR app.
Alongside the launch of Places on Facebook, a set of new APIs was released allowing third-party companies to search and read Places data when authorized by a user. Companies are also slated to be able to make check-ins on a users behalf using a “Write” API. SCVNGR is one of the first companies meaningfully expanding the functionality of their product using the Places APIs.
SCVNGR distinguishes itself from other location games by also being a platform upon which users and businesses can build custom challenges. This gives SCVNGR the potential to keep users involved by offering new things to accomplish, but also gives them a revenue stream since businesses may be willing to pay for customized functionality for their branded challenges. Investors have noticed this potential, with DreamIt Ventures putting in a $35,000 seed round, Highland Capital Partners adding $750,000 in an August 2009 Series A, and Google Ventures leading a $4 million Series B in January of 2010.
As SCVNGR and other third-party apps learn how to use the Places APIs, users will be able to use their location to power games, targeted promotions, and utilities. While SCVNGR’s integration isn’t fully operational just yet, using Places to give users a vivid feel for the personality of the locations they visit sounds like a compelling experience.