GetGlue is rolling out its largest release of the year today, with a redesigned website and iPhone app. That redesign, particularly in the case of the website, will help make it easier for users to check-in to various entertainment events.The social network
GetGlue is also adding a new category of content - the most requested one according to founder and CEO Alex Iskold. Users will now be able to check in to sporting events.
In addition, GetGlue is integrating with Foursquare, so that all these entertainment check-ins can be geo-located should users choose. This addition makes a lot of sense, because while a lot of the activities on GetGlue probably do happen at home - checking in to a book you're reading, for example, or to your favorite Tuesday night TV show - movies, concerts, and now sports are also events we actually attend, not just watch.
Now, instead of checking in to your local movie theater on Foursquare, for example, then adding some text to explain to your friends what you're there to see, you can just check-in to the movie via GetGlue and that app will in turn check you into the venue via Foursquare.
Even with the addition of Foursquare check-ins to GetGlue, Iskold says the company is "focusing on content instead of location."
The new sports category is a good demonstration of how this works. Users can check in to a sport (say, hockey), or a team (the New York Rangers), or an event (Rangers versus Islanders). If they're at the game or at a bar, they can check-in to the location as well. But one of the interesting elements of GetGlue - and one that works nicely with the increasing importance of social streams during live media events - is that check-ins to a particular topic allow you a much more private conversation. You can check in to that Rangers game, for example, but if you just check in to the team, you won't have to interact with those who've checked in to the opposing team.
With this flexibility, GetGlue shows that there isn't really a single use case for the site, and that the company wants to support users' many different behaviors. Some of those behaviors will now be more easily tracked, however, as the redesigned iPhone app will feature trending topics.
The app will also begin offering rewards for fans - not just stickers, but discounts as well. Some of those rewards will come from the new partners that GetGlue is announcing today, including the NHL, Turner Sports, the San Antonio Spurs, FOX Sports, HBO Sports, and Showtime Sports.