It doesn’t seem like it’s been a year since I started using Gowalla, but the publish date on my Gowallaing post tells me that milestone is coming up soon. A lot of cool features have been added to Gowalla since I wrote that article, but it’s still a surprisingly relevant intro to the game. For a while it seemed like Gowalla was trying to downplay the items element of their service to compete with some of the more utilitarian location-based apps. In the past few weeks though, they’ve really brought items back to the forefront of the Gowalla experience. In the last week alone they released 3 new regular items; Blue TOMS Shoes, White TOMS Shoes & Ash TOMS Shoes as well as 2 prize items; Real AT&T Smartphone & Real TOMS Shoes. For those still think the service is just about checking in and finding your friends, take a look at these screenshots of my last 2 “Your Week with Gowalla” emails. I think they paint a pretty clear picture of why people love to go out with Gowalla.
Your Week with Gowalla – 8/17/2010
Your Week with Gowalla – 8/24/2010
This is just a speck of the small percentage of Gowalla users I’m friends with. I can’t imagine how much their usage shot up last week system-wide, but I’m sure they noticed… and until I find one of those prize items and/or that elusive Ash shoes item, you can bet I’ll still be checking in like crazy.