Is there life in Foursquare yet?
I just don’t hear many people talking about it or using it and get the strongest impression that it is slipping off of the marketing radar. My suspicions were further confirmed in the recent Social Brands 100 report.
It showed a reported 4% drop in the use of Foursquare since 2011, indicating that use of geo-location platforms are losing ground.
The Social Brands report seemed to me more evidence that Foursquare was a struggling property in the UK, but I saw that Drew Benvie , group CEO UK at Hotwire, had been giving it another go and his blog on the subject suggests that there might be life there yet.
I still see plenty a smattering of people talking Mayorships and getting badges, but I could never get into that side of it.
Benvie conducted an intense two month experiment on Foursquare where he literally turned himself into an addict (although he stressed he had heavily focused on the gaming side):
After two months of gaming everything, I have some learnings I thought I would share. I mainly gamed Foursquare and apps, gadgets and widgets that score your body data.
- I found Foursquare as a network and a game much more multi-dimensional than before. I used to use Foursquare for adding a bit of extra functionality to my Twitter use (ie pinging friends when I’m close by, seeing who’s where) and also for crowdsourcing (ie lists and discovery). What I have now discovered is that the gaming side of Foursquare (the points, badges and mayorships) is as addictive as any social game. More than that, you end up changing things in real life as a result too, like your commute, where you get lunch, whether you walk or take the tube… it’s the ultimate ARG
- Point scoring on Foursquare takes 1-2 months to build. It took me a month to start getting a good number of badges and mayorships, as I had to reinforce my patterns and outpace others. After that the points got higher and higher. A good week would net me 200 points, a crazy week 300. Then when I saw a colleague get 400+ points, the only time I’ve ever seen someone I know get so high
- Finally, the new Foursquare (a relaunch happened last month) is much, much more of a social network than before. Much more conversation happening on there than before.
I have said to colleagues that I’m now going to retire from Foursquare, having completed this intense gaming experiment. I’m not really, but I will stop gaming the game. The social side of it I will continue, and the body data I certainly will.
What do you think? Are you using it, do you hear of others still keen on it?