The demise of foursquare
Do you know what foursquare is?
I’ve been a reluctant user of the service that allows users to “checkin” and earn badges based upon checkin locations. A couple of years ago I got really into it, particularly when on holiday and would literally check in 10’s of times every day.
The social side of the service never really took off though – a few of my friends had it and it was fun to compete to become the mayor of some local hotspots. Then life took over and I found I didn’t really have a need for it and although still installed on my phone wasn’t an essential everyday app.
In 2014 Foursquare came back into my life (briefly). I opened the app and the service insisted that I download SWARM. This is apparently the new foursquare, and the foursquare app is apparently used for other things. I didn’t really understand the new foursquare or SWARM so out of interest I did a little research. Apparently the core functionality of Foursquare is its “yelp like experience” – clearly I had been missing something.
Having researched it – I still didn’t understand what foursquare was now for, so I deleted it. I wonder how many others did the same? The usage data reported here seems to suggest many did.
So on the back of that my prediction is that 2015 will see the true demise of Foursquare.
What does this teach us? Companies need to focus on what they do well and make sure that they don’t confuse their customer base. I believe that consumers like things simple and easy to understand – if you’re going to launch a new product don’t replace an existing product with something that is totally different and unexpected. Seems simple but even the largest and most well financed companies sometimes get it wrong – and sometimes once it goes wrong there is no way back.
Do you think Foursquare will recover?