What options are there? (OP asks about how to create or interface with a “check-in” type feature as in FB, Foursquare, etc.)

I want to give users the option to check in to a place eg: a bar.

what is the best way to do this?

API or something else?

If so which one?

are you talking about automatically detecting that you are in a bar and then have an alert asking if you’d like to check in?

Otherwise, having button with a checkin function is pretty simple to do…

Depends on what you are trying to create, doesn’t it?

Let’s have a quick think about what a “check-in” feature is. Basically, In a generic social network, a check-in creates a certain type of post to the user’s social feed. Such posts are characterized as follows:

  1. Upon choosing to “check-in”, the app assesses and or asks the user’s geographic location. (In Bubble, User’s location is a built-in thing read from user’s mobile device if they grant permission.)

  2. If that geolocation seems to be a known “place”, that’s probably where the user desires to check-in but it is possible that they mean to check-in to some other place nearby (some places are quite close together). We may have to disambiguate the user’s desired place. (In Bubble, the Google Places plugin by Bubble – or several other alternatives – can be used to transform a geographic location to nearby place names.)

  3. Having established the user’s location, we construct a post and post it to the feed in a form like: {User} checked in at {Place}, {Message} {Info about Place}. For example, ‘@keith checked in at Lush Lounge: “Drinking my face off, yo!” (info about Lush Lounge such as a map and/or link would follow)’. (In Bubble: Well, this is just core Bubble stuff, right?)

So that’s pretty much all a check-in is. If your app has a feed type thing this is easily built in Bubble rather quickly. You could use Google Places or similar as your source for Places. Creating a thing of type Post and making it appear in a feed is just basic Bubble stuff (if it is not obvious how to do this, one needs to learn more Bubble.) Where you might link to is up to you and again depends on what it is you are trying to build.

Now, we might instead (or additionally) desire to check the user in on a real social network… such as Facebook. (So that checking in in your app would also cause the user to checkin on such-and-such place on Facebook.)

Facebook’s Open Graph API does have a facility for another app to check a Facebook user in some place. That’s documented at the link below. Note that to use such a feature in production, your application will have be reviewed by Facebook.

Facebook docs, check-in: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/graph-api/reference/v3.2/checkin

All of the above can be done in Bubble, of course, but all of it will require a moderate level of skill with the platform. (Have you built an app already with a basic feed of any sort? You’ll need to start there of course. This isn’t hard, but building such things touches on all of the fundamental components of Bubble. You also need to – or will come to – understand the geographic location data type, interacting with Google’s various APIs via plugins, etc.)

The second part is a bit more of an advanced topic as it requires you to be familiar with the API Connector, dealing with APIs like Facebook’s social graph API (authentication to such APIs, etc.), understanding permissions, etc. Nothing you can’t learn by consulting the APIs documentation… but if the info at the URL listed below sounds like gibberish to you… well, you’ve got some learning ahead.

A quick aside about social networks, social graphs and “social networks” built on Bubble: Social networks as we know them today are not simple web apps. They are core internet infrastructure. We can emulate/simulate nearly any and all features found in any social networking app’s front end, but we are not building a foundational social network in the way that one would really approach such a thing (were one to even attempt that).

There are a good number of core features that one cannot build in Bubble at present. (For example, your Bubble app does not expose an OAuth 2 type authorization system. While you can let users log in to your app using any other OAuth 2 authorization system you choose to support, your users cannot ATM use credentials from your app to to log in to some other app in what is now a standard sort of way. It may be possible to build this on top of the authorization tools we DO have in Bubble right now, but it’s probably not a project that’s worth the effort.)

But anyway, if you are building a social-network-like thing or an affinity type site (e.g., “Where My Alkoholix At?.. the app for people who drink their faces off and don’t know who cares about it!”) you can emulate these types of features all day long. You just need to think them through: “What is it this thing I want to do actually does?” is the question to ask.


thanks Keith that helps a lot.

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