ADOTAS – Though it was hailed as a clash for the ages, a panel of location-based mobile social networks — featuring execs from Loopt, Foursquare and Brightkite among others — last spring at Ogilvy’s New York offices proved to be a pretty cordial affair. Despite the chumminess, I asked the partipants if they really believed that so many location-based mobile social networks could really exist in the space — they seemed pretty convinced it wasn’t going to get crowded anytime soon.
But we have a knockout: Brightkite is giving up on the check-in racket, as well as killing its posts and streams. Instead, the network will focus on its growing Group Text offering, with the goal of being the default text app on all phones.
Check-in, posting and streaming “features were the defining element to our company two and three years ago, but we no longer believe they are sufficiently unique or defining to be our focus, so we are dropping them,” the company wrote on its blog. “Trust us, we do not take them away lightly, but we also know that we cannot do many things well at once, so believe it is essential to take out old features as we continue to tighten our focus on Group Text.”
Founders Brady Becker and Martin May left the company earlier this year and are working on the startup restaurant-recommendation mobile app Forkly. Whispers of layoffs are in the air. However, the mobile social netwok still boasts a million members (compared to Foursquare’s 5 million) and will introduce a new Android app imminently.