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Earning cash not a priority for new Foursquare rival

Upstart startup touts trendy nights-out app

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Emerging from Silicon Roundabout's Old Street, complete with Instagram'ed staff photos and an iPhone app, comes Flypost, which promises to promote events and venues to those with iPhones who aren't already using Foursquare.

The idea is that Flypost will gather venue information and provide map-based searching for what's happening locally, complete with instant reviews from those already on the scene, and ahead-of-time listings for those who prefer to know where they're going before they leave the house.

What Flypost lacks is any hint of a revenue model: "Right now we're focused on UX [User Experience] and scaling rather than revenue," company founder Leon Crutchley told us. "Once we are installed by default ... on millions of handsets, we'll turn on the rev model." So no hurry there then.

Not that a lack of revenue stream has dented interest in Foursquare, which is burning though its $71m in VC cash without any sign of making any money. Foursquare boasts 15 million users, apparently all desperate to be the most-checked-in person for every location on the planet, but despite that, Foursquare's only dependable revenue stream is selling t-shirts, badges and stickers with the company logo on them. On Tuesday, Foursquare revamped its product with a focus on just the kind of local discovery Flypost is hoping to make money from.

Flypost reckons it's different 'cos it's focused on the place, not the people attending, so venues will be able to upload future happenings for inclusion in the Flypost application. That's "will be", not "can", as Flypost isn't actually allowing anyone to flypost event or venue promotions into their service just yet.

Right now all the content is scraped from Google, Yelp and the like, so when the company exalts everyone to: "Download the free app and start flyposting today!" what it means is that everyone should download the app and start commenting on other posts today, and perhaps do some flyposting tomorrow or the day afterwards.

Even to download you'll need an iPhone; Flypost can't compete with Foursquare's cross-platform support. Apparently the company is planning a Windows Phone version early next year, with Android support perhaps coming later, but everyone around Silicon Roundabout has an iPhone so that's obviously the market which matters.

So if you fancy seeing content aggregated from other location-based promotion services, into an iPhone interface so slick it's sick, then Flypost might be your bag – but always remember that electronic or not, Bill Stickers remains innocent. ®

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