WHERE: Location-based Super App leading the way in native integration

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Where, Inc. has enjoyed substantial growth in recent years, establishing itself as a company at the forefront of the booming mobile application industry. WHERE®, the company’s mobile application, allows users to customize searches in order to discover new places to eat, drink, and play in cities around the United States. Where, Inc. was a BlackBerry® Super App Challenge 2011 Regional Finalist and the mobile and web versions of its WHERE application have a combined total of 4 million active users and more than 10 million downloads.

Sarah Hodkinson , Where Inc.’s Senior Manager of Partner Marketing, sat down to discuss the importance of Where, Inc.’s relationship with Research In Motion® (RIM®).

Why did you want to be on the BlackBerry platform?
Our goal is to make WHERE as widely available as possible and RIM is a key player in the marketplace. It’s also easy to follow the BlackBerry user experience and make an application follow that experience. In BlackBerry® 6, the location APIs are more reliable and faster – and now all of our new features are fully supported by BlackBerry® 7.

How integrated is WHERE with the native applications of a BlackBerry smartphone?
The focus for our application has always been about creating an amazing user experience, and a big part of that is not only a high level of personalization, but also ease‐of‐use and functionality. Using a
BlackBerry smartphone, users can save places, contacts, and events to their address book and calendar.
They can share places with friends by email, text, or by connecting to Facebook®, which is definitely more fun and engaging, and creates sort of a mobile word‐of‐mouth function. And the more you use
WHERE, the more we learn about you, which allows us to further customize recommendations in the future. The BlackBerry platform really extends integration possibilities through its Unified Search integration and the robust notification system.

Tell us about the transition to BlackBerry 7 OS.
The transition from BlackBerry 6 to BlackBerry 7 OS is simple for developers, since they can support a BlackBerry 7 OS version of an application with little additional resource commitment. In our case, there was no need for any backend changes and all our primary functionalities, like Facebook integration and unified search integration, were working as before.

How important has it been to develop a relationship with RIM over the years?
RIM developer teams have helped us in terms of visibility and with promoting our app on BlackBerry App World™ and the Regional Super App Challenge. When we get featured in BlackBerry App World, our downloads jump by 10,000 per day. We also take advantage of the resources provided to us within the BlackBerry® Alliance Program and the people at RIM have made some connections to help expand our network and grow our business.

What else would you like to highlight about your partnership with RIM?
The BlackBerry® Torch™ smartphone has been a successful smartphone for WHERE and has performed well in terms of subscription revenue. We are activating on average about 1,000 downloads a day through the subscription‐based service and over 1 million in page views across the app in any given month. Another interesting fact is that 40% of our BlackBerry users are using a BlackBerry Torch smartphone. We believe the touch screen has really improved the user experience.

Thanks for your time, Sarah! Readers, be sure to check out Where, Inc’s website to see what they’re currently up to.

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