Angela Brown, Marketing Manager
During my daily blog scan this morning, I came across this article by Jay Dolan on Social Media Today proclaiming Foursquare’s imminent death. Dolan’s discussion of Gap’s denim extravaganza with Facebook Places last week and the tool’s new bargain shopper friendly features got me thinking – why after less than three months has Facebook so easily managed to achieve what Foursquare hasn’t been able to after more than a year?
The achievement in question is the fact that users can actually use Facebook Places to get something of value – not badges, or mayorships or other funky titles, but actual value. You know, the kind that makes a difference in your checking account balance. Sure you can “check in” on Foursquare and get a few deals here and there, but Places takes it one step further, combining Facebook’s native functionality with social couponing and geolocation features to create a richer experience for users and the brands that offer deals through the platform.
Admittedly, I was a Places skeptic/hater when it was first announced back in August because at that time, there really wasn’t much to differentiate it from what already existed in this space. For me it was just another privacy headache to deal with and another source of noise to clutter up my feed when I logged in.
Just a couple of months later, things have changed. With the holidays approaching, Dolan’s shopping mall example is a timely illustration of how powerful Places can be – if you’re comfortable sharing your buying behavior with your “friends.” Imagine walking into your local mall during the busy holiday shopping season, logging into Places and loading all of the venues inside. Your screen is populated with the list with an added bonus – you can see where the deals are before you check in and plan your trip around them. Then, after you’ve used a coupon, Facebook posts on your wall that you’ve used a deal, spreading the word about your super fly shopping skills and driving traffic to stores where there are savings to be had. For a lot of people, that’s a pretty solid proposition and Facebook Places allows you to do all of that.
So the verdict? I think it’s a little early to put pen to paper for Foursquare’s obituary, particularly since we don’t all want out purchase behavior to be shared with our Facebook connections. But Foursquare could stand to take a harder look at creating value for its users that extend beyond badges and occasional coupons.
image credit: http://misscoca.com/
This entry was posted on Monday, November 8th, 2010 at 1:01 pm and is filed under Digital Strategy, Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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