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.
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.
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.
- Foursquare Might Finally Become More than a Game with Push Notification API (techland.time.com)
- Why do we check-in? (marketingmag.com.au)
- Why does foursquare seem to have a low adoption/active usage rate in Australia? (Quora)