SCVNGR is a check-in/game application on the android and iOS mobile platforms. The founder of SCVNGR is Seth Priebatsch. Their Headquarters are in Cambridge, Massachusetts and they currently have 60 employees. SCVNGR is funded by venture capital, and companies like Google Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, and DreamIT Ventures. SCVNGR has raised $20 million in venture funding and had a valuation of $100 million. In February 2011, it was speculated that SCVNGR had reached over 1 million users.
It’s a game where you check in to the location where you are and based on this location, there are “challenges” where you can earn points if you complete them. An example of a challenge I’ve encountered would be “Take a picture of your favorite waitress!” which was at Buffalo Wild Wings. Your points are then accumulated in your profile, along with how many challenges you completed and how many places you’ve been to. You are able to have a profile picture that your friends can see. They also have “badges” which are very similar to Foursquares’ badges in the sense that you earn them by checking in, and completing “challenges” etc. You also have a friend feed, where you can see where your friends are checking into and can check their profiles to see their points total, and badges. SCVNGR has a neat feature called “Treks”, which are basically scavenger hunts. Like Syracuse University has a trek where you have to go to four places: the Carrier Dome, Archbold Theater, Schine Student Center, and The Quad” to complete it. You can also get rewarded for your quickly stacking points. What’s cool about SCVNGR is that you can get real rewards for playing. They have rewards based on point ranges. A good example of a place that does this is Buffalo Wild Wings, Their rewards are for 7 points you can get a free coke, and at 35 points, you get $5 off a purchase of $25+. They also have a reward that is an actual physical Tablegate mp3 cooler at 277 points.
The most obvious competitor of SCVNGR is Foursquare. They are very, very similar applications in my eyes. They both have a Friend’s Feed, both have a points system, which points are earned by checking-in to locations. They both have “badges” you earn by checking in. They do have some differences though. What SCVNGR does well is engaging the user more than Foursquare does. With their challenges, users are needed to do fun, quirky things like “taking a picture of someone with a moustache”, to get points while Foursquare just has checking in. Foursquare also doesn’t have Treks. SCVNGR’s point system allows you to earn points by doing more things than simply checking into a location.
· Friend’s Feed – The friend’s feed on SCVNGR is very detailed. It allows you to see where your friends are and what exactly they are doing there, all the way to the individual challenges they completed. If you signed into SCVNGR with your Facebook profile, you automatically have all your friends in your Friend’s Feed who use the app.
· Treks – These are something that Foursquare doesn’t have.
· Physical Rewards – This is awesome. People love getting free stuff. Simple as that. If I can get a free hat, because I was playing a game. WIN WIN!
· Challenges – Challenges are cool, simply because without them, SCVNGR is exactly like Foursquare. Challenges allow you to have a fun time at the location, unlike Foursquare, where you check in and then put your phone away. You can also have competitions with your friends to see who can get the most points in one trip!
· Facebook Connection – Having Facebook Connection lets you log in with your facebook account and it automatically has all of your facebook friends who also use SCVNGR as your friends. One small feature that saves you a lot of time.
· Make your own Challenges! – Everybody loves user generated content, and with SCVNGR you can make challenges for your favorite Restaurant or location, and others can complete them for points. Cool, little feature.
· No Mayorship – One thing that Foursquare has over SCVNGR is Mayorships. Right now there is no way to know who checks in to a certain location the most. No bragging rights! L
· No Reminders – Foursquare also sends a push notification to your phone if you’re near a location that you frequently check in to. A cool feature that could be useful in SCVNGR.
· Facebook Connection – This could go both ways. Because of the Facebook connection, everyone of your friends on Facebook can see what you’re doing, and where you are. If you’re one for not publicly showing your location, SCVNGR automatically broadcasts it unless you turn it off manually.
From the short time I used SCNVGR, which was one day, I could immediately see the potential of it. I believe that it’s a more engaging experience than Foursquare currently is. The Challenges are actually really fun, and I got really into them. I actually did all of the ones at Buffalo Wild Wings! Although, not much of my friends use SCVNGR, that didn’t stop me from racking up points for a free 6 Boneless wings. If people begin to use SCVNGR as much as they use Foursquare, I could see them slowly using Foursquare less. There are a lot more features in SCVNGR that make it overall more fun to use. Currently, SCVNGR has over 1000 companies using it to broadcast challenges and rewards. So it’s currently small in terms of how many companies use it. (Foursquare has 500,000) Overall, For me to use SCVNGR, all it comes down to my friends adapting it, but I believe I would use it over Foursquare because of it’s features that Foursquare currently doesn’t have.