Hot on the heels of more app launches than we need, Digg founder Kevin Rose has shut down Oink. It was part of Rose’s app accelerator, Milk, and was a location-based service that let you rate specifics of different places. Given its narrow vertical, it isn’t a huge surprise that less than a year after launch, Oink will close its doors.
“We started Milk Inc. (the company behind Oink) to rapidly build and test out new ideas,” Milk wrote on its site today. “Oink was our first test and, in preparing to move onto the next project, we’ve decided to shut it down to help focus our efforts.”
The site will shut down on March 31, and users can download their Oink content until then by entering their username and email address on the site.
Oink was a dime a dozen: it jumped onto the location space and it planned to monetize by offering the data it was collecting to business who could use it to attract and reward customers. It was the same tactic that plenty of apps are trying, and some are doing it in a better, more tactile way. Belly, for instance, comes to mind. The iPad-offering program sets up local businesses with tablets. Users can scan the app or physical cards to log their participation and receive points. We’ve seen more and more of these stations pop up, which seems to weed out a step for the businesses and accommodate them better than Oink.
The entire mobile-location-rewards space is fraught with confusion. Everyone has a different model and that fragmentation makes it difficult for retailers to commit. Foursquare, Groupon, and Yelp probably have the firmest grip on this market (and the most name recognition), but everyone’s throwing their hat in the ring. As a result, Oink got squeezed out, a fate many similar apps will share.