One of my most memorable career moments thus far was the "road test" of BuyYourFriendADrink.com (BYFAD), in which I took a midday field trip to a neighborhood bar to the service (which does exactly what its name implies it will do, via text message). It worked like a charm, but a few of us continued to wonder how a limited and somewhat gimmicky site could survive--especially since it has yet to expand outside a set of 60 bars in New York City and the surrounding metro area.
Well, now we have an inkling of an idea of what the BYFAD guys have in store. The site just announced a partnership with Going.com, which is, to put it in plain terms, a social network for urban partiers. Going currently has networks in Boston, New York, and San Francisco (with Chicago, Los Angeles, London, and Miami apparently on the way) and is kind of like a Yelp for parties and events rather than venues. Members can create profiles, add events and invite other members, and upload photos from events they've been to.
Now, through the BYFAD integration, Going.com profiles will have a "Buy Me A Drink" button right under their profile photos, which opens up a BYFAD window that's integrated into the site so that you can enter your payment information. The code for redeeming the drink will appear in your friend's Going inbox.
The BYFAD-Going partnership is so far only applicable in Going's New York network, but Boston is apparently close behind. Going is a small social network--only 300,000 members--but it's interesting to think about how future social networks could leverage this kind of third-party service. I can say with a fair amount of confidence that if there were awhere you could buy people drinks, it'd get pretty darn popular.