An update on Foursquare

I had reason this afternoon to look back at the post about Foursquare that I wrote in February this year, and I thought now would be a good time to provide an update. From a personal perspective, I stopped using Foursquare altogether in around March, for the simple reason that I don’t know anyone else who is using it, so although I was eagerly checking in everywhere I went for a couple of weeks, I was really only sharing this quite trivial running commentary on my whereabouts with a few distant acquaintances, a guy called Karim who I’m pretty sure I’ve never met, and one creepy ex-client who I kept bumping into unexpectedly.

Then along came Facebook Places and I thought to myself: if I’m going to be engaging in systematic checking in, I should probably be sharing that with a network of people who care, and Facebook seems like a good place to start.

But I didn’t give up on Foursquare altogether, and throughout the next six months I looked out for it at every B2B event and trade show I went to in London. Alas, from Infosec to Smart Healthcare to the London Business School, Foursquare was unnoticeably absent, which reinforced my thinking that when I feel the need to share my location (which I seldom do these days), I should probably do so via Facebook.

Does this mean that all the talk about Foursquare being the next big B2B craze, set to revolutionise the corporate landscape, was just hot air? In the UK and Europe, yes… for now at least. However, it occurred to me that our tech-hungry allies across the Atlantic could to be faring better when it comes to getting bang for their Foursquare check. Sadly, after a lengthy Google search, it is clear that this is just not the case. While I got some good ideas on how to implement Foursquare marketing campaigns and use Foursquare badges to make the most out of a trade show, I couldn’t find any B2B trade shows (the Consumer Electronics Show was the only one that seemed to have nailed Foursquare) that were doing this successfully.

My verdict? That while Foursquare is great in theory, it’s not quite there in practice. It’s the typical problem of a network-based business: you can’t offer your clients value until you have the network, but you can’t get the network until you can offer them value. Let’s hope Foursquare can break through this impasse we can all enjoy the rewards, or badges or whatever!   

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  1. An update on Foursquare | - Tech - September 6, 2011

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