Cupertino-based GeoGroups, a geo-social startup begun by former eBay Research Scientist Raghav Gupta, launched its group-based mobile app today. The app allows users to create personalized maps based around private social networks and public, common-interest networks.
The networks allow users to track each others’ locations within private networks, and quickly share points of interest, like red-light cameras and Wi-Fi hotspots, with the public.
The implementation of social networks into a location-based app is GeoGroups’ major differentiator against others already occupying the space, like FourSquare. In a statement, CEO Gupta detailed the immense potential of his “geo-social” app and emphasized the significance of the user to GeoGroups’ success going forward.
“The venue-based check-in services are only a sliver of what is possible in the geo-social space. We worked with our thousands of beta users to create a platform that gives anyone the freedom to simply and easily build very personalized groups limited only by their imaginations,” Gupta said.
Some of the new app’s most notable features are indeed accessed through a user’s private networks. GeoGroups allows private groups, like families, to plot everyday stops on their maps, like school and the office.
What’s more is that GeoGroups utilizes he iOS’ Push functionality to alert users within private networks of another’s departure from or arrival at a mapped location (for a $3.99 fee). Users can even elect to receive alerts when someone from their private network is leaving or coming within a set distance from a mapped point.
However, the app also boasts impressive social functionality. Users are free to start their own public, common-interest groups, enabling spur-of-the-moment meet-ups with friends along with plenty of opportunities to meet new people and explore their cities.
While the private network functionality certainly excites, GeoGroups’ unique social features equip the startup for a sustained presence in the geo-social space.
In his statement, Gupta succinctly described his company’s efforts to maximize the value of GeoGroups’ social networks.
“Very soon the platform will also let group owners monetize their networks.”
GeoGroups is a free app, available for the iPhone at the iTunes App Store, and online at http://geogroups.com. GeoAlerts is an add-on that is purchased in-app.