32 thoughts on “Foursquare's Crowley on Facebook, Check-in Fatigue & the Copy Cats”

  1. I think the grand vision of bringing back the social stuff to the real world is nice (and also ironic :)).
    Foursquare has definitely got a big challenge ahead of it to avoid the check in fatigue and to become the Number 3.

    1. I think this challenge is what is going to define his company. If he and his team can figure it out, FSQ can be very disruptive in many different industries.

  2. I love when leader takes on a challenge and has assuredness of his ability to lead and still have fun. Much success to you Mr. Crowley and those who work with you most diligently to achieve the desired goals set before you all. Twitter at one time wasn’t convincing everybody either but look now! Keep going until you are undeniable! Thanks Brian Solis for sharing your reading today.

  3. Foursquare has a huge opportunity ahead of it, but they need to move quickly to capture it. iPad version, check-in reminders, better web platform to share knowledge being accumulated about check-in locations, etc.

    1. I am in full agreement with your assessment. My view is that you are going to see a lot of new things emerge from these guys in next few months.

      They have been sitting still for a while mostly because they were busy raising money. Given that Dennis is a hard core product guy, I know he is itching to release new stuff to FSQ-ers.

  4. Most of the people in my age demographic and surrounding areas are skeptical and won’t use foursquare, for fear someone will break in their house.

  5. Sorry, but foursquare is done, I signed up in December checked in maybe 100 times and haven’t used it in 2 months and forgot it existed (didn’t miss it).

    It brings me no value, unlike Twitter it doesn’t connect me to interesting people and informaiton, and unlike facebook it doesn’t keep my “weak” social ties for me.. so honestly unless they bring some value quickly I suspect many more of their 2 million users will be like me.

    Anecdotally I checked yesterday when the last time that my foursquare friends checked in and I saw that most of the people that started using it back in December all had “last check ins” in early June… hence done.

    1. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, I actually think Foursquare is a fad and kind of silly and useless. I used it for a few days and won’t — ever again. The utility isn’t there for me.

      So, you heard it here first: Foursquare = Fadsquare!

  6. foursquare has also done a good job (better than anyone else I’ve seen) in truly engaging the local business community. I’m really curious to see what they do with the small business management tools.

  7. I’ve been a heavy 4sq user for a while. I’m in a market that is clearly lagging, so I was mayor of up to 29 places at my peak. Now, we’re seeing more users in my area and I’m down to 18. We’ve had 1 special in the area and that was because of the national Starbucks mayor discount. We clearly need more mayor deals, and more regional badges to keep things interesting and grow adoption in new markets.
    I think it might help to have a 2nd tier below mayor. Perhaps deputy mayors (1-3 of them based on traffic). Then, you have something more for people to strive for and maybe more targets for discounts.

    (BTW, I sent my resume to jobs@foursquare.com… Just saying) 🙂

  8. What I have found interesting in the Foursquare/Gowalla battle is how they have appealed to different audiences by imolementing different features. While most of my friends are on Foursquare (and I attribute this to popularity and game play) my ‘foodie’ friends tend to lean toward Gowalla with it’s ability to upload photos.

    In the end, I believe game play/mechanics will determine the winners and losers. I look forward to seeing what Dennis and co. have in store.

  9. What I have found interesting in the Foursquare/Gowalla battle is how they have appealed to different audiences by implementing different features. While most of my friends are on Foursquare (and I attribute this to popularity and game play) my ‘foodie’ friends tend to lean toward Gowalla with it’s ability to upload photos.

    In the end, I believe game play/mechanics will determine the winners and losers. I look forward to seeing what Dennis and co. have in store.

  10. It’s true that Foursquare’s not the only checkin game in town. There are the likes of Gowalla, Brightkite, Loopt, Whrrl, Hot Potato, Yelp, Where and others. The checkin fatigue people speak of comes not only from checking in a lot but checking in on multiple services. While I expect to see lots of innovation to make checkin more fun, Footfeed recently launched the first multi checkin app for the iPhone. The app let’s you check into Brightlite, Foursquare and Gowalla simultaneously. While not the end all be all to curing checkin fatigue, it’s a good step in the right direction. Check it out for yourselves at http://www.footfeed.com.

  11. I agree with @tebas – I am experiencing the same over here in Berlin. A lot of the early (enthusiastic) adopters now rarely check-in, if at all.

    The most active 4sq members at the moment are those that are gaming the game. Which leads to the inevitable question: What business value lies in check-ins at bus stops?

  12. In the last few weeks I’ve met 4 people in person that I knew from Foursquare. It’s fun seeing where people like to go. I’m getting tired of the people doing drive by checkins and stealing mayorships. I’ve also quit checking in to locations except those where I go to have fun. The media hype over someone using social media to rob your house such a disservice. There are much easier ways that burglars use to choose locations to rob. The same goes for the hype over people using Foursquare to stalk other people. All of this media hype is causing features to be removed and the value of the service to be lessened. If you are concerned about your privacy and safety just stay off of location based social media and stop wreaking it for everyone else. People should learn about what the real threats to their safety are and stop being paranoid about imaginary threats.

    1. First off, OM… totally love this post! Check-in fatigue is spreading across the nation, especially in smaller cities (read: every city that is NOT NYC or San Francisco). Gowalla and Foursquare are working so hard to get big deals, they forget about the millions of small business that drive the economy in the US that can’t afford to market on those services.

      Secondly, to reply to Dave, Spot On re: “Check-Ins are Coupons… Gimme $5.” We had the same feeling and created a new company to do just that.

      Im not trying to hijack your post, but you can read more about our feelings in this blog post http://what.carlsays.com/carlsays-we-love-local-places-do-you or just visit http://www.carlsays.com

  13. Check-in without incentive gets boring after a few weeks.

    I wait for the Sunday paper knowing that there are going to be new coupons in the ‘smart source’ but then after 4 weeks I trash it if these are the same about fix your teeth, lingerie, stamps and tomato trees being peddled again and again.

    They shud learn from Zynga — people go back coz there is “new stuff” to do on every visit.

  14. Serendipity – finally someone else shows an interest in this. We don’t always know what we’re looking for. Think this may be a game changing area – applications or services that help us discover without having to search, now that would be engaging. Would be interesting to know what other start-ups are doing in this area.

  15. No one has mentioned that one of Foursquare’s idol companies, Facebook, is likely entering this market very soon. Once that happens, we will start to see all these other services disappear. Foursquare has done something interesting with layers, but if adoption remains weak with only a few, they don’t stand a chance. They could try to be the Tivo of check-in, but they have to offer something compelling that the big guy doesn’t. And I think Tivo (which I love) would have a much harder time if the cable companies starting giving away DVR capability for free, which is exactly what Facebook will do with check-in.

  16. I truly hope that foursquare and Dennis succeed. I briefly met Dennis at SXSWi and he was a great and approachable guy and you can tell he loves what he does.

    They have a great team and we just worked with them to get our 200+ offices offering specials. Being a fan/user of foursquare that’s a fun away to spend my work hours, so I hope they do well and will allow us to grow with their service.

    Good luck!

  17. I do think that Four Square has a real shot of being the Facebook and Twitter of location based services eventhough as competition swirls around them.
    They are very innovative in their product delivery

  18. I love the concept of geo-location social media like Foursquare and Gowalla, but with so many recent tales of false-checkins and blatant abuse, maybe related applications will have more potential. Especially specific types, like “food-related” or “tourism related”.

  19. Expecting users to constantly check in seems unrealistic. Instead rules that capture people’s routine preferences (e.g. show my location to my colleagues 9am-5pm on weekdays and only when I’m on company premises) can significantly reduce user burden. See locaccino.com for a location sharing app that does exactly that. The rules also mean more control over who you’re sharing your location with…which people need in many situations where Foursquare just doesn’t cut it (such as sharing your location with just a few friends)

  20. So where foursquare fails to liven up the check-in process, SCVNGR fills the void (and Google believes so too)!

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