Why Foursquare will be Mayor…

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Essentially Foursquare and Facebook Places are both location-based apps, the former arguably the pioneers of integrating geolocation & social media. Foursquare has already claimed a small victory, with Facebook deeming the start-up good enough to mimic, however, this will bring with it a number of pro’s and cons. This blog will discuss these issues and provide a couple of ideas as to how Foursquare can weather the storm of it’s new found competition.

They’re the same:
• You can “check in”, letting friends know where you are.
• You can share photos and comments about where you have checked in.
• Businesses can claim their location adding to marketing opportunity.
• Customer loyalty can be rewarded by frequent visiting.
• You can check in using your smart phone.

Foursquare is the Mayor:
• It’s fun! The most “check ins” at the same location throughout a one month period is rewarded with a “mayorship”. This may bring no benefit to the mayor other than the kudos of his/ her peers, or if the location has been claimed by a company offering a special, the mayor could potentially get anything from a free pizza to a discount on a car.
• The iPhone app is aesthetically pleasing and very simple to use.
• Integration with both Facebook and Twitter. Facebook Places doesn’t currently share with Twitter, although many would agree the two platforms are mutually exclusive.

Facebook is better “Liked”:
• Nobody can argue that Facebook holds the trump card, with over 500m current users compared to Foursquare’s 3m+.

A 500m strong membership base is not to be ignored, but through integration and innovation, Foursquare can differentiate itself from Places and live alongside the giant, as Twitter has proven.

A couple of ideas for Foursquares Growth:
• “Foursquare Events” – It’s one thing saying where you are at that moment in time. How about telling people where you are going to be. “Hey friends, I’m going to the #MediaConference @SouthendCivicCentre on 16/10/2011”. This would allow hash-tag twitter conversations, which all lead back to your Foursquare account and ultimately increase traffic and SEO.
• “Foursquare Travel Guide” – “The Hotel Papagayo is beautiful, a real 5* service at 3* prices”, “The Zip-Lining through the Guanacaste Mountains is a must”. There are already millions of tips being shared by the network & although Foursquare (sort of) do this already, this kind of information could be amalgamated into location-based travel tips specifically for travellers.

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2 thoughts on “Why Foursquare will be Mayor…

  1. Hey Terry, really like this post. I think the Foursquare Travel Guide is a great idea. Imagine searching an area you’re about to visit. I hope Foursquare can continue to grow in the face of Facebook Places. I too enjoy the social aspects of the game you play on Foursquare, but you’re right they need more location based info and services.

    • Thanks Barney. I agree about the social aspect and that is certainly an area that needs to grow, and will continue to, with proper integration with Twitter and Facebook, thus increasing membership. A 140 character trip advisor style function would be great and relatively simple to implement as most of the properties are in place already. To be honest, in Foursquares favour there are hundreds of avenues they can go down…

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