Check-ins are the new microblogs. While services like Twitter and Facebook let you share your latest thoughts with your friends in a few short characters, apps like Foursquare and Gowalla have made a name for themselves by letting you “check in” to a physical location with your phone. You can stop by your favorite bar, restaurant, clothing store, library or any other location and let the world know you’ve been there — not by pulling out a can of spraypaint and tagging the walls, but by clicking a button on your phone.
The only problem is that there’s a growing number of ways to check-in, and who wants to fire up their Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, and Gowalla apps to check-in to every network?
Gowalla has launched a new version of its mobile app today which makes things a lot simpler, because you can check-in to multiple networks all from one face. This might seem a bit counter-intuitive since on the face of things, Gowalla competes with Foursquare. But it could actually be a pretty smart move, since now you don’t have to choose between the two services. You can just link your Foursqare and Facebook accounts to Gowalla, along with Twitter and/or Tumblr and send updates to contacts on all of those networks at once.
The new app also adds support for bookmarks and notes, which let you leave a note for yourself or a friend. That way your friend can find your note next time they check-in at a location.
Gowalla 3 for the iPhone is available as a free download from the App Store. Updates for the company’s iPad, Android, and BlackBerry apps should be available soon.