Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More on the Death of Foursquare

It's feels like a constant reminder whenever I visit a restaurant. I look at my phone. In my brain, there's a Pavlovian bell, "you should check in". And then, the rational part of my brain switches over and reminds me that I don't check in. Foursquare is dead to me.

After so many years of being wired to this behavior, it feels like such a loss.

But I'm not the only one. I came across this great open letter to Foursquare in this post on Pando. It echos a lot of my sentiments, but I didn't bother to download Swarm. And I won't bother. Nor have I opened the Foursquare app since they disabled check-ins. I don't really need a location discovery app.

As you look around the web at the passionate dissatisfaction with what the way that they've killed check-ins, you have to wonder -- if they'd moved location discovery to a different app, would their have been the same level of vocal complaints? While I'm not internal and I don't know user numbers or demographic size, I would be surprised if there was a "passionate location discovery user base" in the Foursquare community.

Like Michael Jordan deciding he should quit basketball to play baseball
This feels more like one of those internally driven decisions, the kind focused on answering a deluded team of managers or MBAs that are convinced that Foursquare should be something more than a check-in app, "if we were this location discovery space, we would be awesome." It's the kind of decision doesn't understand the real value that Pavlovian habit.

Meanwhile, back in the new location discovery app, "this place is popular with people who used to check in frequently..."

One day, Foursquare will be a great case study.

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