Location Based Social Networking Goes Musical

The explosion of location-based social networking in recent years has been a boon for users who like to shop, eat and alert their friends to their every move. But what about the music lovers out there who want more than just to follow their favorite artists on Twitter or view a music video on YouTube? Enter Flowd: a location-based social networking service and app that lets fans connect with their favorite artists.

The recent explosion of location-based social networking has been a boon for users who like to shop, eat and alert their friends to their every move. But what about the music lovers out there who want more than just to follow their favorite artists on Twitter or view a music video on YouTube? Enter Flowd: a location-based social networking service and app that lets fans connect with their favorite artists.

What sets Flowd apart from other location-based sites like Foursquare and Gowalla is its inclusion of artist pages, where users can check in to view and comment on an artist’s latest activities, and take part in competitions and contests.

Created by the Finland-based company Digia, Flowd launched this week as a sort of hybrid geo-location site-meets-Twitter or Facebook app. Users can check in to local hangouts, share their location with friends and view a list of places most frequented by their friends but, instead of badges, are rewarded with exclusive content from musicians.

Careful not to stray too far from the successful social networking model, Flowd also lets users send status updates, share pictures and connect with friends on Facebook and Twitter. Each user also has a “Flo Tab” that acts like a Facebook wall to let you see what everyone else is doing.

Meanwhile, the site also benefits musicians by serving as a forum to share their latest news, views, tours and appearances. Currently Armin van Buuren, The Wanted, and DJ Markus Schulz are among the artists using the app to create “places” – locations that have some meaning to them where fans can then earn points and rewards by “checking in” to those same locations.

Still in development, says the company, is a feature that will allow artists to pinpoint their most active fans and reward their loyalty with exclusive merchandise and content.

The free app is now available on iPhone and Android smartphones.

Flowd is the latest in social networking sites to integrate itself into the more open market of entertainment and music lovers. Social media pioneer MySpace recently relaunched as a “social entertainment hub” to put itself out of competition with the likes of giants like Facebook and Twitter.

The success here for Flowd will be whether it can sustain the model enough to drive interest in the community it seeks to build. Another avenue to watch will be its ability to attract newer acts and artists who can then build a loyal fan base for both themselves and the site.