Pelago Makes the Whrrl Go 'Round

This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.

With all of the location-based mobile applications available, it’s hard to find one (and only one) to stick with because they all offer different features. Pelago – a company name derived from word “archipelago,” wants to make its features stick out more with its location-based service called Whrrl.

Like most location-based services and mobile applications, Whrrl tracks a users’ location by check-in. Via mobile app, you must physically check-in to the venue you’re currently at. The closest venues are found automatically by using device GPS to pinpoint your location. What Pelago looks to do with Whrrl that most other location-based services don’t do is to make the check-in experience a lot more social and engaging.

Whrrl’s has 2 key unique features. Its “Societies” implementation looks to bring like-minded people together. Users and businesses can create societies. As you check in to places associated with the society, you gain levels. Gaining levels allows you to unlock specials and discounts at participating venues. Societies also provide a central place for talking about whatever it is your society was created for. You can leave recommendations and tips and look at what venues are cool. For example, I’ve joined a Cheeseburger Society, on the quest to find the best cheeseburger available for sale. I’m sure I will one day soon find the ultimate cheeseburger by reading the recommendations made by my fellow cheeseburger brothers and sisters and visiting all the places listed in my society.

Another key feature is that in Whrrl, single check-ins can turn into stories. When more Whrrl users join in at the venue, they can start a story with you and show all of your friends just exactly what you’re doing. Upload pictures, add taglines, explain what’s going on – the world can see what’s going on throughout the night at your location. You and your friends tell the story.

Pelago is a small startup still, but is backed by very good investors, including Jim Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. Whrrl is currently its only product, but by also calling the app its “flagship” product, we can expect to see more great ideas coming from the company.

If you’re a developer, you should check out Deploy 2010 on Monday, November 08, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (PT). Deploy 2010 is an all-inclusive conference for technology builders to give you new tools to create the applications of tomorrow. The conference will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.