Facebook, Google, Foursquare. Who will be the leader in checkins and why?

This blog entry is in response to a question@Joshmedia asked on Formspring. It’s not going to be Facebook, at least not any time soon. My bet is with Foursquare. Why? Because I think people want a unique experience for this relatively new social vertical. Even though Facebook is big and you can do many things with it, it just wasn’t designed for check-ins.

Here are a few examples that support my argument:

You can update your friends about what your thinking, doing, watching, eating, etc on Facebook, but that hasn’t killed Twitter. Twitter is doing really well.

You can include your job information on Facebook, but that hasn’t killed LinkedIn. In fact, LinkedIn, as we all know, is doing very, very well.

What about this very platform we’re using to ask and answer questions? People have asked more than 1.2 billion questions through Formspring. People ask each other questions on Facebook, but Formspring is a better platform for Q&A.

Heck, you can even blog on Facebook, but that feature isn’t nearly as popular as its main feature, which is to enable people to effortlessly keep up with friends.

Facebook Places has become more popular and there are more users of FB Places than there are Foursquare users. Many fans of Facebook said Facebook Places would kill Foursquare. However, I’ve said all along that it will actually help Foursquare. So far, I think I am right.

This article (http://read.bi/dTuKFt) is 3 months old so it’s basically ancient, but I think the general trend holds true. People know that Facebook Places is there, but they don’t use it that often. Maybe that will change when Facebook starts to offer more deals and promotions. Facebook is doing a lot of great things, but they shouldn’t try to do everything. They need to focus on their core strength.

For now, my money is on Foursquare. And I’m not saying that just because I’m a Super User 1 with 35 badges and I’m the mayor 20+ places. I wouldn’t want to keep in touch with my friends or look through their photo albums on Foursquare. In the same manner, I don’t want to check in at places using Facebook. Why? I just don’t. I did it like 5 times and it’s not that fun, and I’m probably not alone. It may not be the most logical answer, but the fact that I feel this way is not a good thing for Facebook.

Ask me anything


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