Earlier this month Foursquare was opened out to the world. After many months of being “trialed” in specific cities around the world it became possible to use the application in Hammerfest, Norway; Ushuaia, Argentina; the shore of the Dead Sea or Aucanquilcha, Chile. Presuming you can get a cell phone signal in those four corners of the globe.
Here in Kelowna, BC, I thought I’d be the first to use the application… checking in at my office at around 8am on the first day of it’s use. Horrified was I to find that a certain Nicole F. had already checked in at my nearest Starbucks. And MY Airport. Yes. MY Airport It’s OK though. We’re friends now and I’ve forgiven. Though obviously not forgotten!
Running round town that day and evening, I could immediately see the potential of the application. You see I’ve never been a very early adopter of social media. Early – yes. Very early – no. I’ve always liked to see which networks gain serious traction before devoting time and effort to them. Perhaps this T-shirt (one of which I own) explains my rational better than words ever could.
You see Foursquare just seems to have some magical ingredients that I believe will see it become, to coin a cliche “This year’s Twitter”. To understand what I mean by that see this article on Twitter vs Tumblr. Foursquare is currently lagging behind competitive service Yelp in terms of total users and it has a copy-cat upstart behind it with Gowilla. But I see it’s growth curve against it’s competitors for 2010 being similar to Twitter’s in 2009.
Why? The magic equation. It’s fun, simple to use and it provides value.
Yelp bores me and provides me little value – it’s the square PC to Foursquare’s funky Mac. Gowalla has absolutely no traction in this city (1 user). It’s the Linux box of the equation – just not gonna make it mainstream.
Think of why Wii was successful – not the best graphics out there – just simple, engaging, interactive fun! People picked it up, used it, loved it and connected on it. It’s the same with Foursquare. That simple formula that’s made Facebook and Twitter standout in a crowded space!
Tomorrow I’ll be talking Foursquare on AM1150 radio as a guest on Let’s Talk Social. I’ll be having a quick chat with Jessica Samuels and Scott Davis of Culturactive. As part of my preparation for that I’ve had the opportunity to ask a few questions of Lululemon’s Online Community Manager, Carloyn Coles. They have big plans for Foursquare and I seem to have gotten the scoop on that! I’ll be sharing more tomorrow so… as they say on TV… don’t turn over… watch this space.