Social media is all the rage these days. With the popularity of websites like Facebook and Twitter, where people can interact with complete strangers and form bonds that they haven’t with even people they went to high school with, it seems like new social networks are cropping up every day. Some of them are based on creating and nurturing friendships, like Google+ and Diaspora, while others are more focused on one common activity, like Untappd or Goodreads. While each of these social networks have had relative success, none of them can compare to the sudden popularity of GetGlue.
GetGlue is based on the concept of “checking in”. But unlike FourSquare and its idea of checking into places, GetGlue allows users to check into their hobbies. The website, and its companion app on the major smartphone operating systems, recognizes movies, television shows, musicians, and even random topics. By checking in to a variety of media, users can unlock “stickers”, which they can collect within the boundaries of the website and app.
I know what you’re thinking. “Stickers? Big deal. That’s just a lame rip-off of FourSquare’s badges.” Yet you couldn’t be farther from correct. While yes, Foursquare did pioneer the idea behind badges, they serve little more than just pretty pictures users can look at online. Meanwhile, GetGlue has gone one step further and allows people to order physical copies of stickers. Once a user has collected a minimum of 20 stickers, they can contact GetGlue and receive them through the mail to decorate whatever they choose. If you have more than 20 stickers, you can choose which 20 you wish to receive. GetGlue is the packrat’s social media of choice.
Meanwhile, as more and more people join GetGlue each day, businesses are seeing its potential as a viable advertising center. Marvel Comics has already embraced the platform, using the stickers to promote their new Wednesday releases. BBC America has decided to go a different route; in addition to providing stickers for each check-in to an episode of Doctor Who, enough check-ins unlock discounts off of Doctor Who merchandise in their online storefront. It certainly is a clever way to boost sales while leveraging an activity people are already doing.
But first and foremost, GetGlue is a “social” media. Users can follow other users and track the different activities they are partaking in, as well as commenting on their check-ins. Users even have the opportunity to become the “Guru” of a topic, which is completely dependent on the social aspect of the program. To become a guru, users must comment on a have a high level of interaction about a movie, book, or game. So by commenting and replying to others concerning anything of interest, then you’re on your way to becoming a guru. Achieving that honor is a difficult task, however, considering the title of guru is highly coveted.
Between comic books, movies, television shows, and video games, GetGlue covers nearly all aspects of geekdom. And why shouldn’t it? While I don’t use it as a social outlet, it quickly appealed to me based on the collectability of the stickers alone. If you haven’t already, head over to GetGlue.com and see what it’s all about for yourself. I’m in the midst of getting all of the Marvel Comics stickers for myself and am looking forward to the day they arrive in the mail.