The six reasons why I’ve quit Foursquare
I’m game for trying new things, and am naturally inclined to try something that’s social in nature. But after a year-plus on Foursquare, I’m been “clean and sober” for about a week, and I don’t think I’m going back. Here are six reasons why.
1. It’s not exactly the safest social network
My wife in particular has not been excited about me telling the world that either 1) we’re all away from the house, or 2) I’m away from the house and separated from my family. Social networks with interesting content are one thing; social networks that tell you where you are, at this moment, is a different level. I’ve heard of venture capitalists being pitched at restaurants because start-up founders knew they had “just” checked in there. That’s borderline creepy. Putting my family or home’s security at risk is worse. You can say I’m overreacting, but if my wife thinks it’s a big deal, it is.
2. Sometimes social becomes anti-social
I’ve never been really comfortable fiddling with my phone when I’m somewhere with friends, or colleagues, or my family. When I’m away from the house, at some level, it’s a social event. I’m interrupting or ruining that if my nose is in my phone, even for a brief moment. It’s never felt good about that, and I’m increasingly convinced that the face-to-face time is worth far more.
3. Little to no value from venues
The original promise of Foursquare was special offers, coupons and similar from venues where you had checked in or become “mayor”. I honestly haven’t seen that materialize, and if anything the mayor and check-in specials have declined in the past several months. Foursquare still has an opportunity to compete with Groupon, but so far they don’t appear to be taking advantage of that.
4. Network recommendations are redundant with other channels
I only have time and space in my life for a finite number of channels. If Facebook offers location-based check-ins and incentives, do I really need to check in somewhere else? If I value my time, the opportunity cost of committing to an additional social channel is incrementally higher for every additional network. And if existing channels offer the same features, why add more complexity to my life?
5. The peer network is spotty at best
I’m apparently not alone in either ignoring or abandoning Foursquare. My relative peer network (based on similar coverage on Twitter and Facebook, for example) hasn’t migrated to Foursquare in nearly the same numbers, volume or coverage percentage. So if I’m not building value and/or impressions with the network and contacts I truly care about, what am I really doing here? Where is the value being created?
6. No business ROI for me, and it’s not really fun either
I’m more than fine with waiting an extended period of time to realize positive business ROI on social activities. But I’m not convinced, after almost two years of usage, that Foursquare is giving me any current, additive or future value. What’s worse, it’s not even really fun anymore. It’s distracting, impolite to those I’m out with, and neutral at best to my professional and personal interests. That’s not exactly an endorsement for continued investment.
I can’t be alone in questioning the value of Foursquare at this point. Curious to hear experiences or observations from others. What’s your opinion?