Will Foursquare Survive?

I’ll admit right now that I was never a fan of this technology.  The idea of people knowing where I was at any given time was always a challenge to me.  I can see why some people got excited about it and the whole ‘Mayor’ thing certainly got people buzzing for a while but unless I’m mistaken it would seem that buzz around Foursquare has started to die.  I used to get tons of tweets from people telling me which airport they were at. or which coffee shop they were frequenting.  This week I’ve had less than a handful.  It’s as if the novelty of it has worn off. I also think that Facebook and Twitter adding similar functionality has made the idea mainstream and it seems that when it comes to social media/networking, mainstream isn’t good.  If you read or watch any of the media devoted to Foursquare it all sounds very compelling as a business model.  Crowds open up to where they are and what they’re doing and receive a benefit as a result.  Problem is that for a lot of people, the cost of losing their anonymity isn’t worth the half price day old muffin they just received.  No doubt I’ll learn next week that they’ve been bought for billions and I was wrong but from looking at Twitter, it would appear Foursquare has had its day and could end up like MySpace…

8 Comments on “Will Foursquare Survive?”

  1. Ethan Bauley says:

    Agree…Only counterpoint I’ve heard that makes sense is that they are specifically focused on gaming aspect of location (i.e. it’s a user experience thing, not a location thing per se).

    So, theoretically, their Mayor/point system sits on top of whatever service is providing the commodity location info.

    Internet gaming…Are we having fun yet?



  2. timdyson says:

    Good point Ethan. Gamers are an interesting market and maybe they alone could support foursquare. That feels a long way from the vision they painted though

  3. Michael Chin says:

    Hi Tim — I agree with you. I think the value one gets in return is simply not compelling enough.

    Seems to me that part of the problem has to do with context and the value it offers within a given context.

    The one place that I’ve found and seen 4Sq offer real value is at SxSW (an event) where you want to know where people are and you want people to know where you are. People move around a lot and there’s no easier way to communicate at scale. Good value exchange.

    To your point, not really mainstream and not really sustainable.

    That said, maybe if you’re in your early 20s, every night is like SxSW. But, I wouldn’t know anything about that.

    – Michael

  4. Josh says:

    I’m personally interested in seeing where this goes. I see a lot less people updating the Facebook and Twitter status’s from foursquare but at the same time I see a lot of friends jumping in and using it fairly heavily just announcing it to their foursquare friends only. I’ve noticed more companies offering deals through it and I was reading recently that they are working companies to build badges that go beyond checkin’s for example they just teamed up with a running app (can’t find the link at the moment) to track how often you run and if you run x miles you get a badge this can be sponsored by fitness stores etc. I definitely think its changing but I wouldn’t count it out just yet.

  5. Ale Focardi says:

    You are absolutely right, at the end of the day when Facebook Places is fully operational how will Foursquare fare?

    You have to take into account Check-in fatigue(I think MG Siegler of Techcrunch wrote an article on that.) and how this will directly impact their business.

  6. Miles Carter says:

    I don’t think Foursquare was ever all the rage.

    Almost all the buzz about things like this, from my point of view seem to come from people who live in the Bay Area of California. They will act as though something is ubiquitous and everyone is doing it, but the average man on the street in Smalltown, US (or outside of the US) both has never heard of it, and has no idea of the purpose of the concept or why anyone would use it.

  7. Miles, that sounds a lot like Twitter!

  8. Angelo says:

    Foursquare’s value is that they pointed the way to monetizing on social media, something the bigger players haven’t figured out how to really do yet. The biggest drawback was their user engagement, which tends to get boring. We’re hoping that we’ve resolved these issues in our own product, Traxier (http://traxier.com), a social competition site that lets users compete with each other for points, badges, bragging rights and actual prizes.

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