FireEagle releases beta access to their “Friends on Fire” for Facebook app

Not a new way to inflict pain on your best mates, but yet another entrant into the already fraught and busy “who’s nearby” space. I’ve pontificated often about how this is no basis for a business, but with Tom and his gang at FireEagle it makes perfect sense as aggregation of location is their business.

I’m unconvinced of the UI they’ve built for this iteration – but who are we to talk when our Web UI still needs it new upgrade rolled out 😉  and essentially this is a technology beta, so I’ve on doubt they will do some polishing.

The biggest complaint I have is that after choosing who to share my location with from my FB fiends list, I then had to go through the process again, to invite them to use it and of course hit the stupid Facebook 20 invites limit. I simply don’t have time to go back and do it all again with the invites (requiring me to do it 10 times to invite the 200 I wanted to of my circa 300 friends). The biggest annoyance is that this limit doesn’t seem to have affected the number of crappy notifications I get for rubbish apps … my personal profile currently sits at 262 requests since my last purge a few months ago; but I digress.

This can only be good to accelerate take up of location based services and therefore we’re all fully behind it at Rummble;  just those startups focusing on “whos nearby” as a core service, unless they have an existing big userbase (such as people like WAYN for whom its an obvious value add), should think carefully about where they are excerpting their efforts – but again, I’ve been preaching this for 3 years already and so I have little sympathy … a quick look at Loopts -lack- of progress, should give you any answer you need; and they have blown $15m+ up the wall trying to do so, with precious little traction to show for it.

Still, I wish Loopt and their young -but clearly very bright- founder (I met him at Mobile Browser Wars last August) all the best and maybe they will yet rise from the ashes like a Phoenix … but then again, some other bods have a rather more appropriate name to achieve that particular feat…

You can signup to the Friends on Fire beta here at: http://apps.new.facebook.com/on-fire/

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