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BERLIN, Germany
– Location-based services aren’t just about checking-in to the local pizza restaurant or becoming the mayor of your favourite Irish pub, it can mean a lot more to other people all around the world. During this Social Media Week, Sylvain Grande, Director of Maps-Places applications and is taking to the stage to talk about the importance of location-based services across the globe, in the Location and Social Space keynote. This week already saw Gabe Zichermann, CEO of Gamification Co talk about how the future of location-based services is more about being fun, to fully engage people – in the Gamification keynote.

Gabe Zichermann, CEO of Gamification Co and the author of two books, Game-Based Marketing and Gamification by Design spoke earlier this week about how the future of location-based services is more about being fun to fully engage people. He proposes that in order for location-based services to really work, they must be fun and social. For example, Foursquare is mostly played by people on their own wanting to win badges or become mayor of somewhere, offering relatively little value to companies, or the people playing.

In their current guise, location-based games require a lot of input with far too many steps in the process, making the whole experience, Gabe believes, a difficult one. For a typical service to work well, you need someone you know to be online and have checked in somewhere you want to go, just so you can meet up. And that’s just a couple of the steps. There are many more that actually make the meeting-up purpose of location-based services a real chore.

Gabe believes this whole process needs to be accessible to all devices and all services with immediate notifications in real-time. Plus it has to be relevant to you, so that you don’t get spammed all day. It’s a challenge but one he feels that will be sorted out in little over five years.

At the Location and Social Space keynote, Sylvain Grande gives an overview on his thoughts on location-based services. Facebook places and Foursquare are just a couple of services that enable people to have fun and connect in an entertaining way, however, is that the only reason we should be using them? Sylvain believes we’ve only just started to understand the real potential and benefit of location-based services.

Fun aside, people can use location-based services in certain countries, such as Kenya, to find out about local farmers or markets that are selling their wares and find out exactly where they are. It’s also a great way of staying on the pulse when it comes to purchasing other items, too. Sylvain believes location-based services should benefit people in some way and add real value to the person’s life.

For those in Berlin, you can attend the Location and Social Space keynote to hear about it in more detail. It’s held at Aufbau Haus, Prinzenstraße 85, Berlin on Wednesday 21 September.

You can keep up-to-date with all of SMW’s event’s either by following Social Media Week on Twitter or using the #NokiaConnects search term. Or alternatively you can connect through the Social Media Week Facebook page or through the Social Media Week website.

If you’re taking part in any event from SMW, do let us know what you think in the comments below.

Image credit via C-C-C-C-C-C-Cary