I’ve written about Foursquare on ten different occasions on this blog since becoming one of the earlier regular users. Here are two – an early and a later one. Earlier this month Foursquare unveiled its new logo and new business model that it claims packaged goods companies, ‘love’. That may or may not be the case but I don’t love it and have this week said good-bye to using Foursquare.
An article in Adweek last week offered the idea that the success of the integration of Swarm (what has now become of the old Foursquare check-in feature) and Foursquare “makes the company “a more attractive buy for brands that are looking to connect with folks they know already have a base level of [interest]. While this is not a new practice, we’re interested to see how deep this type of personalization can go without being creepy or invading on privacy—to truly deliver value on an individual basis.” Um, sure, ok.
I always liked the idea of check-ins, mayorships and interaction with my (albeit few), Foursquare friends. It was interesting to see where they had been and where they were going. There were times that as a result of a check-in from a friend I was able to meet someone I would have not even known was around. The problem was Foursquare and Dennis Crowley could not create a revenue model from check-ins. So in 2013 Foursquare began to sell user data to third parties for ad targeting. Maybe you just missed that.
Now it appears that Foursquare has decided it would rather try to be Yelp. Of course Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppleman according to Adweek ‘has strongly dismissed Foursquare’s comparisons to his company in the past’ and you can bet he feels no different today.
Foursquare is a puny challenger with stats from the Adweek article – ‘according to comScore, Foursquare’s mobile and desktop traffic in July was 10.3 million viewers, up 13 percent year over year. By comparison, the Reston, Va.-based researcher said Yelp drew 72.5 million viewers in the same month, up 15 percent year over year.’
Would many people care to put reviews up both on Yelp AND Foursquare? While it’s true that Yelp has had some problems regarding authenticity of reviews and what is seen in some circles as retailer strong-arming to pay for advertising, it’s relevance is increasing, not decreasing. Was Foursquare in such a sorry state that this was seen as the best available move? I’ll answer that – it appears to be so.
Foursquare was a rather unique application with potential to derive revenue in a number of different ways but even with that the road to success was going to be difficult. Foursquare’s former uniqueness was primarily limited to cities a(s opposed to small towns where there are fewer available check-in locations). The move to be a recommendation app is a big yawner for me and for some of my foursquare user-friends.
What do you think? Is this the beginning of the end for Foursquare? Or had that die already been cast? Or am I missing something?