Now You Can “Intend” To Check-In Places*

check in at newark last night

We intend to do much more than we actually do.

It’s called procrastination and Matchbook, a New York startup, is planning to cash in on it.

Three weeks ago, Jason Schwartz launched an iPhone app, Matchbook, that allows people to bookmark places they intend to visit. Schwartz hopes the app will eliminate mental notes and scribbles on scraps of paper.

Users walking by a location, viewing a website, or simply recalling a place can add it to their automatically-organised Matchbook list by clicking a button.

Companies like Foursquare and SCVNGR have been banking on people actually going places, but Schwartz is betting that intending to visit is a more frequent occurrence that’s equally beneficial to local advertisers.

“To advertise on a local basis, you need local activity,” says Schwartz. ” One of the ways [to generate local activity is to ask] Where’s a user right now? That’s the check-in space.  The other way is to ask, Where do they want to go?

Schwartz says Matchbook is an aggregator of user intent. “Intent is a really powerful thing.  I can tell advertisers, ‘I have 1,000 people that want to come to you.  What would you offer them as an incentive?'”

The local advertising market, he says, is worth $140 billion and $35 billion of that is digital. Schwartz hopes to snag a solid sliver of the market with intended visits and a future itinerary feature.

“When someone comes to New York they ask friends, ‘Where are the best places to visit?’ And friends send them back a list of places. We want to capture that existing behaviour and make it available with the app,” he says. “Like a best of New York list that can be shared among users.”

*Foursquare does have a basic feature called “To-Do List” that is a similar aggregator of intent, but not the itinerary app.