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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Foursquare, Part Deux

I have been using this service for more than a week now. I see why companies might be rubbing their hands in anticipation. I also see the service fizzling away.

The deal depends on whether users can remain involved with Foursquare long enough for companies to make use of their interest. A class of users likes the game of it but is that class big enough to support the service?

It is not my problem but I cannot help pondering. If businesses can add a worthwhile dimension to Foursquare, basically to replace the game of gathering badges with something more appealing, the thing can work. I am just a casually user, much like John and Jane Q. Public. I am bored with it. Yet the call of location seems powerful even so.

The but that I see is this: the effort required by the user/customer. If one needs to be frenetically on top of the Foursquare game to gain from it, drop off will occur. Businesses need to make the experience simple. What they give must be easy to get.

The use of social networks by businesses requires ease of use for the public. Your Facebook page must have good information, good deals, good events: good stuff that is worth my bother. Likewise Twitter and Foursquare must deliver the company’s goods briskly and clearly. Forget the razzmatazz. When we’re all on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and all, we will want just the refined stuff, not your tv promotion.

Foursquare, and all the other efforts out there, must bust a move to maintain consumer interest in their tools. Then businesses that will keep these services afloat can dip their beaks. Tricky stuff. I will not say impossible, but some keen folks will have to be on their toes.

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