I’ve been ‘using’ Foursquare’s location based application for about 9 months now. People ask me all the time WHY do I use Foursquare to let people know where I am at a given moment. My standard answer is that in order for me to understand how this technology might be useful I had to be a user and experience it for myself.
Well after 9 months of ‘checking-in’, having received 9 different ‘badges’, being the ‘Mayor’ of no less than 6 different places – including the Acela Club at Citi Field where I have been only 5 times, I am here to tell you that I personally don’t have any real use for Foursquare.
I have received comments from my Facebook friends (you can link your Foursquare status to FB); on different places I’ve been that they went to at one time or another – that’s a little bit cool. But I have yet to ‘check-in’ at a place and have someone nearby let me know that they are in the area and maybe we could get together.
Granted non-20’s people like myself (ok mea culpa I am more than double that), don’t normally go hopping around in the suburbs from place to place and when I am in New York City and check-in most of my Foursquare friends are either not in the city or not going to the same places that I am.
Occasionally Foursquare has offered me a coupon for an establishment nearby to the one in which I just checked-in and I even used a coupon one time just to test it (coffee). But as I wrote in a previous post, Foursquare’s GPS location is not very good and I can often check into no less than 15 establishments at the same time within as many as 1,000 meters (why it’s in meters I have no idea). In fact frequently it says that I am closer to a place down the street than the place that I am actually in.
An interesting article by Todd Woody in the NY Times from October 20 http://nyti.ms/dwjcRh did a nice job in linking Earthjustice – a non-profit law firm, to a campaign in which $ 10 would be donated to protect endangered species by ‘checking-in’ at Foursquare at ‘Earthjustice ad’. Clever campaign but I don’t know if that’s enough of a business model to sustain Foursquare. And now Facebook has been running its own location based platform – Facebook Places.
As far as I am concerned the road for Foursquare leads directly to be acquired by Facebook. And they better do that fast. Time is running out. You can check-in on that.
What do you think?