Gowalla beats out Foursquare at the SXSW awards

March 15, 2010

Gowalla beats out Foursquare at the SXSW awardsThe battle between location-based mobile applications has certainly heated up as of late, and with SXSW Interactive being the latest battleground between market leaders Gowalla and Foursquare, at least one of them can lay claim to the title of being the best in some people’s eyes.

Foursquare seems to be the location application to get the most media attention lately, and it seemed that it might win the smackdown fight happening with Gowalla in Austin, TX right now at the SXSW Interactive Conference, but it has lost at least one title.  The 13th annual SXSW Web Awards were held on Sunday, and Gowalla was named best in the best site in the Mobile category, which Foursquare was also nominated for.

Both sites are based around the concept of users checking in to locations as they go out for the evening, run errands, dine out or whatever else they may be doing in their cities or others that visit.  Also, both give you badges and trophies for accomplishing certain tasks, and while all of this seems equal between the two services, Foursquare seems to be the media darling.

Where Gowalla seems popular with the tech-savvy crowd, Foursquare has been out scoring deals with TV networks like Bravo, and even becoming the official check-in service of the Starbucks coffee chain recently.

Why there is such a disparity between the two services is unclear, and it certainly isn’t over user numbers.  Gowalla’s user base is unknown, but Foursquare reports 400,000 registered users, a drop in the bucket compared to sites such as Twitter and Facebook.  Apparently major corporations are betting on it continuing to grow.

While Gowalla winning the award is a nice feather in its cap, it remains to be seen if it translates into more notoriety for the site.

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