I have been using Foursquare for about two years now. I was intrigued by the idea of location announcement and the value checking-in might proffer to me and my network of friends.
What I have found is that the very network of folks that I wanted to engage with is leaving Foursquare. I don’t mean that they are forgetting to check-in; they are with conscious intent removing the app from their mobiles.
I have heard folks (myself included) say the following:
- It’s too much work to keep your status current
- It’s stressful - especially after I leave a place and have forgotten to check-in
- I don’t get any meaningful value from the exercise
- I am not “discovering” anything new
- The offers do not reliably work across venues (e.g. the staff in many cases knows nothing about the “free parking” offer)
My Foursquare network is not the only service suffering from this abandonment, however.
Yelp is an echo chamber.
Viggle is a dead zone.
Perhaps this speaks more to the virtues of over simplified gamification. It seems the desire to earn a digital prize for performing a task has waned - at least within my network.
Earning points are no different.
Given the behavior that I am seeing in my dwindling network, these kinds of services need to introduce real value and do it quickly. Creating a new feature that allows people to search for nearby businesses on their mobile phones (or worse yet, on the web) is not exactly groundbreaking stuff. Citysearch pioneered this kind of service back in the 90’s.
I am curious to hear from users of [your_flavor_of_check-in service] to see if they are experiencing this same phenomenon.
Editors Note: I did verify in Real Life to make sure that my network of friends was still intact. It is. Whew.