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Why I'm still long on Foursquare

Foursquare has seen a lot of competition come and go. Google and Facebook are aiming at it.

So why am I long about it?

Because every time I use it I learn something about the place I'm in.

Everytime I use it I see other users.

Every cool new app that comes along seems to use it as a platform.

Oh, and users are starting to change their behavior and are starting to use it to get deals and understand their world.

Dennis explained that many of its newer users aren't even using it to check in.

This also matches what I've learned from Twitter employees over the past few days (I met up with a couple at a party on Saturday night). Much of Twitter's users never even tweet and they've figured out that these are, indeed, real people, who just don't feel like broadcasting anything but they like using the app.

Here's a video of me interviewing +Dennis Crowley, CEO of Foursquare, last week at LeWeb in front of thousands of people (3,500 attended last week). Pretty big thrill.

Notice the stats he gives out in the first part of the interview. 15 million users. 30 million locations.

I continue to love Foursquare. Are you still resisting it or are you with me?
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74 comments
 
i left foursquare when my husband threatened to divorce me if i beat him to be mayor of our house again :/
 
+Robert Scoble I use it as often as I can, but I'm always finding GPS issues with Android, which makes it almost a hassle to use. I think as the physical technology in our devices improves, the use of the service will grow.
 
I remember when I could walk into a place and use my own senses to determine whether or not the place was a dump.
 
I just checked it out again after leaving it few years ago, and I'm impressed with what they've done since then. I really like it now. It's clean.
 
I've been really addicted to it but i am getting really bored of checking in all the time... i think i have over 2000 checkins, i am the mayor of places on 3 continents... whatelse is left?
 
Fatigued.... No deals where I live. User reviews not really helpful.
 
Deals are pretty much a US only thing which means that there really is no argument for using 4Sq in Europe. I constantly get follow request from people I have never met - why should they want to know where I am right now? I still have my account but rarely check in anymore....for that I use Google+/lattitude.
 
i'ts exactly why i use foursquare - to find and discover places around me. Check other users their reviews, photo's and comments. Also, it's a great travel guide for when you're visiting new places / countries.
 
Rob, can you explain more, "This also matches what I've learned from Twitter employees over the past few days (I met up with a couple at a party on Saturday night). Much of Twitter's users never even tweet and they've figured out that these are, indeed, real people, who just don't feel like broadcasting anything but they like using the app.", pls?
 
I left foursquare after our house got robbed.. not sure if the 2 were at all related, I never checked in to home and my address wasn't on there.. but better safe than sorry..
 
I need a service that can automatically check me in and buzz me with great deals. I'm done being a slave to location checkins.
 
+Peter McDermott what GPS problems do you see? I have absolutely no problem with GPS on my android phones(except for a defective antenna at one point, but that was a hardware issue)....often I even get a fix inside.
 
I have the Samsung Epic 4G and 60% of the time I try to enable GPS I have to restart my phone.
 
+Robert Scoble i frustrated him enough so he quit, then i made sure if he ever joined it would be months before he became mayor and THEN i quit :D
 
strange. Sounds like a software defect in that particular model and not a general android problem.
 
Doesn't Google Latitude have automatic check-ins?
 
I find it surprising how few G+, Twitter and Facebook posts have a location attached. Why is it ok to post location to Foursquare but not to those services?
 
Here's hoping, because I'm in the same boat as +Sascha Pallenberg - feels like I'm the one doing all the work but not getting much back in return. Maybe that's an Asia-centric view but that's how I see it.
 
I use iPhone 4s with no problems.
 
Still really irritates me that:-
- Foursquare does actually have an RSS/Atom feed of your public checkins, but it's hidden away with a non-obvious URL
- It seems to be impossible to check in using the plain old web interface. (from a laptop, say)
 
I'm just wondering how long it will take to have 4sq integrated with FB Places. Facebook integrates with smaller players like Qype, beyond Gowalla which was eventually purchased by FB, and I guess that the lack of integration with 4sq is just because they see it as a "competitor". But competing for what? I believe they could be entirely complementary to each other. I guess that FB Places is only a minimal component of the overall FB success and it might only get better if it integrated with 4sq.
 
+Sci Wizam I was just about to mention Google Latitude automatic check-ins. I haven't actually done it yet, but have been pleasantly surprised that after being at a location for a few minutes, my phone has beeped and asked me if I want to check in at {location x} and it's been accurate on every occasion so far. If they integrated this properly with G+, as well as the appropriate opt-in permissions of course, I think it would make for a really useful app. What do you think +Robert Scoble?
 
Thought they would've had more users than 15 million. When Dennis mentioned the costs are getting high for servers, how does he plan on making more revenue to cover costs? How does FourSquare make any money? Looking through the app I don't see any ads pop up, the app itself is free...
Ian May
 
Love it. Use it all the time!
 
+Robert Scoble you forget that google latitude works in combination with google places = all the reviews and recommendations you would ever want. I use that combo a lot.
 
+Robert Scoble I would have no issues with enabling auto-checkins if there is value. Imagine if I can be buzzed when I am at a certain location for a set amount of time with coupons, recommended dish, royalty program, etc. That would be epic!
 
So, does anyone think that Schemer's data is going to tie into Latitude?
 
I write Google reviews three days later at my PC. I write Foursquare reviews in between bites, they are always more accurate.
 
+Robert Scoble interesting. Around here it is the complete opposite. 4sq reviews are rare and often limited to "good" "bad" "try the XXX" etc.whereas the google places reviews are long and also contain contents from other sources.
 
If I checkin on Foursquare I can share the location to my Facebook wall, but it doesn't use Facebook places api to show where I'm at, it just posts to my wall. So if a friend loads up nearby on facebook, they won't see I'm near by when I really am. Makes no sense, why are they not integrating with Facebook more? I tweeted Tristan and Dennis but never get a reply about it. Gowalla did this.
 
+Robert Scoble Yeah I agree Latitude doesn't really have any functional use at the moment, but if they could utilise it better, integrate it with G+, and I'm sure they plan to bring Google Offers into the mix before too long, then it would be a useful product, especially with the number of users currently on G+. However given Foursquare is doing much of that right now, why swap, hey? I haven't used Foursquare in ages but will check it out again to see what's turning you on about it.
 
I love foursquare when my finance and I are trying to find a place to eat. I simply open fouresquare and it not only shows me places and reviews but also what deals we can get from it. That alone is a useful tool for me.
 
+Chris Cho I agree, auto check-ins that would show me offers/deals/recommendations would be enough of a reason for me to do it.
 
+Chris Cho +Robert Scoble there are already apps that automatically check you in, but they changed them recently to make it more obvious
 
+Digi Jeff Lange Indeed. The various geo-location apps and functions are strangely half baked. Even when the source app has some location data, it rarely makes it across when auto-posted into another app that has location functions.
 
I like it because I like collecting the badges. Call me sad if you like, but I think it adds a bit of fun to using the service, something Facebook and Google don't do.
 
+Liz ℚuilty Do I have to have the app running? Or does it work in the background? In iOS, it has to use the notification platform.
 
+Robert Scoble but what does Foursquare have to lose by using Facebook integration, it's not like Facebook is saying "Foursquare you can't use our places api" right? If I could checkin with Foursquare and it would tell my twitter followers where I'm at and Facebook the right way, that would be a better user experience. I would use that more than trying to checkin to FB and Foursquare.
 
+Chris Cho I like the idea of auto check-ins but I can't help thinking it would cripple my already dreadful battery life.

Foursquare is definitely my preferred location service but they need a big push to promote it more. I deal with a tourism board which would ought to be embracing these services yet they have never heard of it. Someone needed to tell them the future is coming... so I did.
 
If I was Groupon or Living Social I would be really worried about Foursquare. People love Foursquare. Where as Groupon and LS are becoming predictable and even annoying in some cases. I see Foursquare bringing many layers of value. Groupon and LS? One trick ponies.
 
+Chris Cho runs in the background, it was an android app i used, but i understand its also on iOS (forget the name, shows up when you search for foursquare). You need GPS on if you want accuracy, but it can work without. that would be the only battery drain :D
 
+Robert Scoble I've found it has improved beyond becoming Mayor and Badges offering tips and promotions... the newer social feature of being able to follow someone's recommended list is something not offered by other geo location apps... something Facebook wanted to do but has not fulfilled IMO... Yelp in term of restaurants is the champ for recommendations/reviews/tips & some promotions
 
On a side note, this was a good post, it was like homework for me because I got a pretty creative and clever idea with this "checkin" universe, hopefully Scoble you will be interviewing me in the future. :)
 
+Robert Scoble i think latitude and automatic/frictionless sharing are stuff for people with friends.
maybe that’s why people like us don’t really get into them.
 
I use it everyday - has become my diary of when and where I did things. I also use 4squareand7yearsago.com who sends me e-mails every morning with the checkins on this day a year ago. Now it also includes the Instagram pics I took a year ago, which is a great feature.
 
With you all the way on this one.
 
Yep, that's exactly what I'm shooting for (world changing technology). You always do a great job bringing that out of people and sharing it with the world. You are a great person for entrepreneurs to follow. When time is right I will definitely be reaching out to you. I got too much drive and motivation brotha, if it's not this idea it will be the next one after :). Very cool period we are all living through with technology, so much innovation.
 
I think Four Square's biggest gap is that they arn't educating their potential users. Very few bother to download the app and try it out.
 
I still use Foursquare and will do so in 2012. I check in at the film theatre everytime I see a film. When I come to compling my top ten films of the year I look back over my Foursquare check-ins rather than my Google Calender. Equally my walking group +London Strollers use data from Foursquare to power an embedded Tripline map and a Joomla widget.
 
I used Foursquare for a good while, gave it a good try. I really enjoyed using it when out of town on vacation in some big city, but not so much when I was home (athens, GA) going to work and such. Not many places in my area offered deals and if there were tips or reviews, they were either not very useful or they were way off.
 
Chris Cho: A Scottish group just launched the locale tech that enables internal, out-of-wi fii range connectivity (see Techcrunch last week). This will enable offers at certain locations.
 
I've used Foursquare since it went open and it replaced Brightkite for me when they went to 2.0 and ruined their service. It was the meta-game that first drew me in, but I love what the service has evolved into, too. At the weekend I lost a coffee shop mayorship to a girl for the second time in the last couple of months and we always exchange comments about it despite being complete strangers otherwise.
 
Awesome FS Fact : It has the highest engagement as an app in India (beating Twitter and FB) (iOS, BB, Android)
 
I am a big fan. The improvements they have made over the past 6-8 months have been fantastic.
 
Totally agree Rob! It's great to see Foursquare growing and growing outside the USA too. I've been using Foursquare from the very beginning and I have to say that my best ever check-in was to check-in with +Dennis Crowley at L'Elysee during the Le Web cocktail party ! organised by +Loic Le Meur and +Geraldine LeMeur . I have interviewed Dens during Le Web, video to be very soon online too ! Thanks guys to be so inspirational !
 
very excited to see what will happen with location based mobile apps in the next few years. Some potentially amazing stuff pending current technology flaws in mobile devices.
 
Love Foursquare. Android Gps issues are undeniable and take a lot of the fun out of LB services.
 
Like it. great way to find what is around you. wish there was a way to delay your online check in though. 
 
I think it's awesome. But ultimately it's a feature, not a product.
 
I like using it for the gaming aspect of it, but I also learn a lot from using it as well. I have often wondered what would happen if the Mayor system turned into a sort of Monopoly-style game where the Mayor would get points for having people check into the places that they are mayor of.
 
Foursquare has evolve from a checkin/mayor/badge scenario to a robust source of metadata becoming the preferred database of choice to many other apps. This past week I went to 3 different restaurants in Dallas TX, all recommended on foursquare's lists and I really liked.
 
Might give it a try. I've recently had 'social fatigue' and closed out my Facebook account all together, haven't really been on Twitter in months and signed up for Foursquare over a year ago but never really went back as it seemed its functionality was just being duplicated everywhere else with check-ins. Google Places w/ G+ and the new G+ Pages SHOULD be able to take it on, but since they don't really have that tied in together right now, seems like Foursquare might have more to offer than what I previously thought it was. Will give it another look.

Also remember Google just purchased Zagat which has lots of (admittedly dated) restaurant information and reviews, prob about 50% of what Foursquare and other check-in services are used for (bars and/or clubs being the other 50%). Lets see what big G does with it.

Thanks
 
Foursquare... Pretty much only benefits businesses
 
I love Foursquare, mostly for the badges ;-)
 
Foursquare is great, but I think it needs more stats on past behavior.
 
Thanks for sharing! We chat about foursquare on Twitter every Monday at 9p ET - #4sqchat. Always good dialogue!
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