Brightkite, a geo-aware social network from the TechStars class of 2007, has given us a peek at the site’s upcoming iPhone application, due to appear in the App Store in the next few weeks (pending Apple’s approval process).
Brightkite’s featureset will be familiar to users of similar applications like Loopt. The app allows users to syndicate their current location to their friends, meet nearby Brightkite users, and lifestream with the equivalent of geo-encoded Tweets. The application is tied to Yahoo’s Fire Eagle, which allows users to manage their location from a number of other services. The site also uses databases to automatically associate POI’s and cross streets with GPS locations, so user positions aren’t simply displayed as coordinates.
The application looks impressive, but it will have plenty of competition: there’s already at least six major geo-location networks vying to get some traction on the iPhone. Founder Martin May acknowledges that Brightkite shares many similarities with other geo-enabled social networks, but points out that Brightkite is available worldwide, while most of its competitors are not. He also says that Brightkite’s SMS integration and existing user base of 50,000 users through its website and other mobile platforms may also help give it a leg up, though some of its competitors have estbalished users bases and distributions on other platforms as well.
If you’d like to try Brightkite’s main website (you’ll have to wait a few more days for the iPhone app), you can sign up for the private beta through this special link.
Disclosure: Brightkite competitor Loopt should be considered a TechCrunch sponsor.
Crunch Network: CrunchBase the free database of technology companies, people, and investors