Groupnavi is a location-based iOS app for Facebook communities. It allows community members to post to their Facebook group’s wall, but have the post geo-tagged and viewable on a map through the Groupnavi interface. By doing so, Groupnavi CEO and founder Petri Pennanen tells us that they’re able to bring context into the location-based discussion by adding a location-based layer to your Facebook communities.
If you leave a message on Groupnavi, it functions as leaving a post on your Facebook community’s wall. Members with the Groupnavi app can also see the location of where the post came from. And aside from posting messages, in Groupnavi users locate their selected communities in a privacy-friendly way without any identifying information on the map. This way you can see where other Groupnavi users (who are also in your Facebook groups) are hanging out. Pennanen tells us that this makes it easy to locate outdoor happenings such as summer festivals or the London Olympics.
The service does not operate through checkins, which on one hand offers less friction, but at the same time gives slightly less context of where these users are. Still, if the group’s interest is in a football team, you can see many more posts on the map around the football stadium, around a local bar, or other locations.
Pennanen points ou that the service can be used very differently by different groups of people. If you want to just keep in touch with a group of your friends, you can use Groupnavi to do so. But the service functions more as a discover tool by plugging into larger groups, like a music festival group.
“Groupnavi is about discovering your interests on the map. Say someone likes FC barcelona, Groupnavi makes it easy to find the stadium or bars where. Its a way to discover location based things and see where things are happening,” says Pennanen.
In the future, Pennanen sees Groupnavi as a tool for third parties to engage in discussion with users. “Customer service is a social experience. People share their customer experiences in the Facebook groups, and with Groupnavi [customer service representatives] could answer to that. For third parties it’s not about locating your customers, its about a tool for discussion.”
I’ve grown tired of every service being gamified these days, but still I wonder if Groupnavi will have enough hooks to keep users opening up the app. Still, Groupnavi is well designed and an interesting entry to the location-based social sphere.
The service is still in beta, but can be found in the app store here.