Why Foursquare is failing Down Under

australia foursquare

One of my favourite apps in the whole wide world is Foursquare. I’m constantly checking into places. The only time I have deliberately not checked in was when I was at a funeral. Inappropriate.

I love finding out Lonely Planet style tips on what to order, the best time to visit or any special deals on offer. The stalker in me is also interested in where my Foursquare buds are hanging out and if they have just discovered the new micro bar or hole in the wall piccolo joint. I’m also trying to be the mayor of my new apartment complex in Leichhardt. Be warned that Karen C is going down.

I digress.

Despite the joy Foursquare provides and its worldwide success (over 10 million worldwide) Foursquare has failed to crack the Australian market. How come?

1. Australians are inherently lazy and without greater incentives won’t use a separate app for location-based  check-ins. It’s just too easy to check-in on Facebook.

2. Not enough places have deals. Australians love a bargain so more bars need to offer free beer with check-ins. Coffee shops need to get rid of loyalty cards and start rewarding loyalty check-ins like with eCoffee Card.

3. You can’t ‘tag’ users in Foursquare. Tagging significantly increases the reach of apps. Haven’t checked in lately on Facebook Places? That’s ok – your geek mate has tagged you. It’s reminded you of the app, the check-in functionality and reminded all your friends of the feature. Check-in fueled conversations put the ‘social’ back into what, some might say, is just narcissistic sharing. Social media can use location to stay relevant as, unlike interests, locations change all the time.

4. Australians are a modest bunch and Foursquare’s unique selling point of gamification isn’t enough of a draw card to get people to start checking in.

5. Despite Gen Y and many other Australians been obsessed with themselves and self-promotion, the audience simply isn’t there to call for the cries of  ‘look at me’.

So in summary, Foursquare is lacking the mainstream critical mass of features, users and deals to grow and become popular in Australia. Of my Foursquare friends 47 out of 58 are in the early adopter/yuppie, media/arts, geeks/attention seekers world. Like Google+ Foursquare is stuck in geekdom.

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6 thoughts on “Why Foursquare is failing Down Under

  1. Helen says:

    Very true Pete.
    One of my favourite apps and my friends who have downloaded it, end up becoming lazy and don’t bother anymore.
    Totally agree!


  2. […] Why Foursquare is failing down under (peterscobie.com) Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed Barefoot math professor runs for environment Share this:EmailPrintMoreRedditFacebookDiggTwitterStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Categories: Internet Business, Snark and Admin Comments (0) Leave a comment […]


  3. Nick Riggs says:

    Interesting thoughts P! Maybe this is the killer app for Foursquare?


  4. Shaz says:

    Hey Pete, been reading your blog – noice one! What are your top sites? Been reading up to get reacquainted with it all. Found this one helpful : http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/major-facebook-features-this-week-in-social-media/


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