Is It Time to Say Sayonara to Foursquare?

Posted on by Rebecca Kelley (Rebecca)
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You may be familiar with Foursquare, a social networking service that enables users to check into various locations, unlock badges, and leave tips and notes about places for other users. It launched in March 2009 and has been growing stealthily since then, amassing 2.5 million users so far. Just when it seemed as if Foursquare was rapidly approaching the tipping point into the Next Big Social Thing, Internet Goliath Facebook announced a check-in service that sounds suspiciously similar to Foursquare (and by "suspiciously similar," I mean "exactly the same").

Location-based check-in services are still pretty new, and some people are reluctant to jump on board out of paranoia ("I don't want people knowing where I am at all times!") or because the user adoption rate isn't there yet. Others who have used sites like Foursquare are experiencing "check-in fatigue" and have found the gaming elements (unlocking badges, becoming mayor of a place) to quickly lose their luster. As Foursquare struggles to address some of these issues, Facebook announces it's unveiling a similar service. The only difference is that if Facebook's check-in feature fails, it can go back to being Facebook. If Foursquare's check-in service fails, the company fails.

You could argue that when Twitter debuted, a ton of people thought it was stupid, yet here it is alive and kicking -- the same Cinderella story could happen to Foursquare (Techcrunch seems to think it still has potential). Still, considering hundreds of millions of people have Facebook accounts and could easily try out the site's check-in service as opposed to signing up at a different site and having to hunt out other people who use the service, I could easily see Facebook usurping Foursquare and killing it.

Then again, if Facebook half-asses the service and doesn't put enough thought or care into making it fun and unique, it could be seen as a crappy imitation to the superior Foursquare. Or maybe, as the Techcrunch article mentioned, Facebook could acquire Foursquare or partner with it and fold it into the site -- after all, the whole location-based check-in thing is still relatively new and niche, so it could make sense to band together and create a Sirius XM-type endeavor.

What do you think, will Facebook's check-in service kill Foursquare, or do you think the veteran check-in site will be able to hold its own against the social networking giant?

Will Facebook's check-in service kill Foursquare?

1028 views & 49 votes

Debate It! 3

I don't care who wins, as soon as check-ins start showing up on FB I'm blocking. Maybe I'll even write a script for it.

Posted By TheMadHat,

I haven't seen the "checking in" function appear yet on my facebook profile. So far, so good.

Posted By Volatile,

It showed up on FB mobile for iPhone this morning...

Posted By David Brown,

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