Geolocation services for checking in to places, such as Foursquare, Gowalla, and Whrrl are nothing new. Minglebird wants to literally change the game with an app to reward checking in with people, not places.
Minglebird is a free app for the iPhone and Android that allows users to create events and allow people nearby to find others at that event based on location, interests, and related social networks. The event organizer signs up, creates a “game code” for the event, and then attendees receive points for meeting people at the event. The key to Minglebird are “Minglewords”, or searchable interests, which works like hashtags in Twitter. Users can search for other users either by the Minglewords, by location, or even gender.
Minglebird was initially designed for use at large scale events, like conferences, to assist with ice breaking and networking. Of course, when reduced to smaller scale socializing, there are undoubtedly concerns of creeping and stalking – especially considering similar products, like Meetro, ended up leading to a large user base of guys creeping on the very few female users of Meetro.
Beyond the obvious problem of enabling a community of creepy stalkers, this is yet another geolocation-based community. Foursquare has conquered the “checkin” space, with Facebook Places right there with them. The backlash over the Facebook Breakup Notifier (which was forced to shut down), people aren’t too keen on applications that enable stalking. If MingleBird can address these privacy concerns, the idea combining realtime interests with real people could be very powerful.
MingleBird is available now for the iPhone and soon for Android. Download Minglebird or follow them on twitter at @minglebird.