Foursquare Users Miss the (Check) Mark

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I've been using Foursquare for about 18 months. I run hot and cold with Foursquare. Read all about my love-hate relationship. It's often feast or famine with me. Right now, it's a feast. Ever since some family members recently joined and have been active users, I've been checking in more frequently.

If you aren't familiar with Foursquare, it's a location-based, social media app "that helps you keep up with friends, discover what’s nearby, save money and unlock deals." Basically, you "checkin" to a venue to let your friends know where you are. You can add a tip if you find something worthwhile to report, something like "great burgers", "great pizza", "great wine selection", "always crowded but worth the wait". You get the idea.

By checking in, you earn badges which you proudly display on your profile. These badges give your friends an idea of the places you've been and the things you like to do. All very cool, right?

I loved the concept from the start. I wanted to see where my friends were going, where they were eating, where they were playing, what movies they were seeing, etc. I wanted to be in the know, and Foursquare promised to help me get there.

But I can't help but feel that there are users who are not "getting it". They are completely missing the purpose of Foursquare; to share helpful and useful information with other users.

Somehow, a percentage of users, for some reason, think that the intended purpose of Foursquare is to let everyone know where you are every second of every day. I don't care that you are sitting in your living room watching Jersey Shore. I don't care that you are enjoying a glass of wine in your kitchen or making dinner there. I do care, however, when you checkin at a real-world venue where there might be a fab sale, or great food being served, or an awesome band playing that night.

Foursquare has a lot of great features such as Tips and the recently added Explore feature. Explore allows users to find venues in a number of categories (nightlife, coffee, food, specials) that are popular among users. But users who create venues for individual gain such as a badge or just for fun will be its downfall.

Do you use Foursquare? What do you love? Dislike?

No comments