Gift Cards Just Got Cooler: With Clingle, They Arrive As You Walk in the Store

December 18, 2011

11:48 pm

If the holidays are sneaking up on you this year, consider giving your friends a “cling.” iOS users on Clingle, a location-based social network, can now send holiday gifts – like $5 for a latte at Starbucks or $10 Fandango movie tickets. Best of all, they can make the gifts a “surprise,” so they don’t arrive until the recipient reaches a Starbucks or a movie theatre.

Clingle is a free iOS and Android app, with check-ins and badges similar to Foursquare. But unlike the popular geosocial service, Clingle lets you select particular friends to receive a text or voice message, pictures, or videos.

“Clingle starts where Foursquare ends. Clingle is not just a location sharing platform. Clingle is more about moments and events and activities where location is just part of it,” explains cofounder Archana Patchirajan.

For example, you might send a recording of that rock concert your best friend missed, or a tip (and photo) of the best meal to order at a new diner.

That probably means you’ll use Clingle less than Foursquare, because it’s for sharing stories about a location with certain people. And that type of connection is also largely available on Facebook by adding a location and tagging friends. But Clingle may appeal to some disillusioned Foursquare users tired of seeing everyone check in at every store or metro stop they pass by.

Clingle was developed by the creators of MyCityWay, based in New York. Clingle gifts can only be used in US stores, and the recipient needs to have (or sign up for) a Clingle account. You can also watch the Clingle video (below).

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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