Foursquare, the largest geolocation Social Network to date, hasn’t taken advantage of its dominant position and I think they do not know for sure who they are, where do they come from and where are they going.
I’ve been using Foursquare for 4 years. This fact allows me to speak with some legitimacy on Foursquare topic. This I will discuss is my opinion and I could be wrong, but I wanted to show my current impression about this platform.
I have no doubt that geolocation has a privileged site on Social Networks and they will still have it in the future, I think even more than now. Nor do I doubt that the #Foursquare mobile app, I don’t know if it was the first, certainly would not be the only one, but I believe that was the strongest on beginning with geolocation and it was the more extended too. Today I think that continues to be the most known.
During these 4 years, I’ve done 5,500 check-ins, a 5th or 6th part without GPS or out of place (off the grid), but also of interest and I spent a time too. I have created more than 100-150 new places, mostly in my home province: Huesca, but also in Teruel, Zaragoza, Navarra, and some along the whole Spanish geography including Ibiza and Lanzarote and also abroad, enough in the south of France. I was fortunate person by knowing many Spanish areas, I have travelled quite times last years and when I started using 4sq, there was very few places created: villages, monuments, landmarks, facilities, etc.. Nowadays I have 49 Mayorships, but I had over 100 when I was more interested in # 4sq than today.
I think that like many other people, in a way, I’ve “worked” for Foursquare in recent years. I have given them “for free” a lot of information. I’ve created landmarks, I’ve added accurate, specific directions, I’ve added phone numbers, I’ve uploaded many pictures of those places. Everything I have done was only to show known places to the rest of the community Social Networking that seemed me interesting, sometimes to promote info about bars, restaurants, cottages, hotels,… that I had liked too.
Moreover, there are enough people who have known Foursquare across me and people that already knew it, I’ve heard more about 4sq or has increased their interest seeing my activity.
For what was useful my choice and interest for this app and all the time I’ve spent?
I don’t know with sure but I have noticed that not very much.
What has brought me all the time spent?
I guess that not very much.
I must admit that 4sq mobile app has always drawn some: faults, errors, inconveniences, discomfort,… also some injustices and ‘small injuries’, that those who have used enough; we had previously assumed. At least, we knew perfectly what it was and how it worked, we liked it or not.
Now suddenly, “we have lost a bit of control about Foursquare we knew”, control over the ‘work’ we had done. Now we are forced to make check-ins from another unknown app. We have been obliged to change almost without warning and certainly without asking us before. This new application is called SWARM. I think it hasn’t tested and developed enough. It even hasn’t an official website yet. It seems it has been done ‘in a hurry’ and launched despite being a ‘little immature’. Now all we have is the mobile application; application that I don’t like, though the logo, colours and the screens were very cool. It’s true that brings some improvement, especially is faster speaking about searching nearby locations; but on the opposite way, there are very close places and sometimes very well known that you need to type in the search the name almost whole to find them.
On my phone for instance, when I make a check-in and the keyboard appears the blank for leaving a comment, the text of the blank is covered quickly and I cannot see what I’m writing; I have to get off the keyboard to see what I’ve written and re-enable it to continue writing. They wanted to add too many functions and they have failed in basic ones. Sometimes also fails sharing check-ins on Twitter and Facebook, too many blocks in my opinion too. If you move the finger an extra millimetre, sends you to another window quickly. Maybe with other brands of mobile phones or high-level mobiles it doesn’t happen or happens less, but if so, I’m not going to change mobile for it. Apart from this it’s very focused on finding your friends around you and this fact logically penalizes other parts. I don’t care knowing how far people are from me, I don’t use it. If I make check-in in the main square of my city and someone known is nearby (it is quite possible), I’m not going to go pick him up because maybe he is working, busy, with your family, with your couple…
Moreover, I have many followers from other cities and many from other countries, so that, testing and knowing how many miles far they are, doesn’t bring me anything at all, just getting the app slower to run other more interesting things to me. Speaking about it, sometimes has a long delay in launching each screen and it runs very slow on my mobile, pretty much what I was going for Foursquare check-ins.
Many people I have spoken about, recognizes that Foursquare has not taken advantage of its dominant position in geolocation. I would add that: have not taken advantage of, managing and adding value to the big amount of received information from thousands of users ‘for free’ and those who have bet a lot for it that like me, we felt a bit disenchanted, sceptical and many of us have lost, in my opinion, interest that one day reached to have.
I will continue using Swarm, Foursquare or whatever thing comes to their mind, but I’d prefer have better feelings regarding to this application for Social Networks of wide utilization.