October 28, 2013
I used to be a huge champion of Foursquare. I guess you could say I was an early adopter.
Fast-forward five years later, and my interest in the app has rapidly declined. I check-in maybe once a week for no real reason, and rarely look to see where my friends are checking-in. That said, I did have a fabulous experience last week when I did check-in: One of my good friends was at the Mall of America on Saturday, and we were able to grab lunch because she saw I was at the mall as well – all because of my Foursquare check-in.
That experience made me question my disinterest in the app, but after a quick survey of my colleagues at Fast Horse, I confirmed that I am not the only one. Many have slowed their usage, or uninstalled the app all together. Well, everyone except power-user Doug!
After sky-rocketing to social media fame as the hot new social media start-up and a valuation that was once as high as $760 million, things have slowed for Foursquare over the past few years.
According to a mobile app research firm, usage among U.S. iPhone users has declined over the past year – from 5.5 percent in July 2012 to 4.0 percent in August 2013. And even though a different research firm reports an increase in global visitors to the Foursquare app, the figure is paltry compared to the explosive growth in users for both Instagram and Pinterest.
But Foursquare is not rolling over. In fact, they’ve been busy trying to figure out how to monetize their platform and live up to their valuation. Here’s a look at the big news from Foursquare over the past few months.
Foursquare will soon quit introducing new in-app ad offerings, and they’ll shutter their self-serve ad platform by the end of 2014. Instead, they’ll focus more on the user experience in order to keep people checking in, because that’s where their best shot at making money is: in the data. The company has an extremely valuable amount of data about people, including where they go, what they like, who they’re going with. It’s the biggest playing card that they have since while their location-based platform isn’t the only option, it is the most robust – with more than 3 billion check-ins. It’s the reason why other companies like Uber, Instagram and 50,000+ more app developers use Foursquare’s platform for location services.
Foursquare will find new ways to make money off that data, and the company will survive. Heck, I might even check-in here and there.
What do you think about my prediction? Have a prediction of your own?