If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then Foursquare must be really, really flattered. First came Gowalla and then Facebook Places to replicate the app that lets you “check in” and share your location with friends. Now the ‘Foursquare of the Future’ has emerged. It’s called Foound and it seems sure to steer the location-based social network craze in a new direction.
Foound is a geosocial app with a twist: it goes beyond the real-time applications of Foursquare, Gowalla and Places that tell friends where you are, to allow you to tell friends where you plan to be and who you would like to join you. Call it the Evite of the smartphone.
Foound was one of 70 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2010 conference taking place this week in Silicon Valley. The app was created in 2009 by Danny Tan and Aen Tan after the Singapore-based duo sought a solution to the age-old hassle of trying to wrangle friends together for a night out.
Just like Evite, Foound allows you to send one invitation with the who, what, where, when event details to your friends and makes it easy to track responses, but all from your phone. Another feature that sets the app apart is that it lets you import your phone’s directory to your invitations, in addition to your Facebook and Twitter friends.
The app has been in testing on the Singapore iTunes store, and is now available for iPhone users in the U.S. as well.
The biggest test for Foound will be whether the start-up can compete with mainstream competitors like Facebook and Evite, and whether users will be willing to switch from what they know to a, for now, unknown commodity. So far though the competition in the market seems to be helping business. Foursquare now has more than 3 million users and reported its biggest day ever in terms of new user signups the day after Places debuted.