foursquare Gets Fancy with Photos & Comments

December 21st, 2010 by Search Influence Alumni

Is foursquare is more than just a game?

In attempts to drive more users and create revenue opportunities, foursquare has added comments and photos to their interface. This is a huge development for foursquare, which previously relied on Twitter and Facebook to be truly useful. However, is it too late? I’ve always seen foursquare, a location-based social networking site for mobile devices, as the adult version of Pokemon. The same principle that Nintendo follows with its “gotta catch ’em all” tag-line is the basis of foursquare’s success. Sure collecting badge and becoming the mayor of your favorite establishments is fun (I am the mayor of several Uptown New Orleans bars), but there has to be more than that or the game get old fast. The addition of images and comments allows more options than just telling absolute strangers (and employers) what establishments you visit, it also gives new depth to foursquare that it was previously missing.

Here’s what the foursquare blog had to say about the new features:
“Photos from Instagram pushed to foursquare will now be check-ins with photos (rather than just check-ins). Sightings on Foodspotting will be check-ins with your food photos. And picplz is the first service to allow check-in photos on both iPhone and Android”

This is a win for foursquare and social media marketers, with the inclusion of images and comments, social media marketers can leverage the platform for promotionals and brand awareness for local business similar to the Yelp model.

The foursquare blog continued with “There are a couple features we weren’t able to fit in for this release but we’re working to launch soon. These include sharing photos (to Facebook and Flickr)…”

By allowing photo sharing with Facebook and Flickr, more user-generated content will be produced and more opportunities for branding are created. Having foursquare users take photos of your services saves local businesses the time and effort of doing it themselves.

These updates are great, and certainly can be useful, but I ultimately question whether it’s a little too late. Facebook has already created its own check-in service that has all of the functionality of foursquare. They are also working on syncing business check-ins with Facebook fanpages which allows access to posts, reviews, and business information. Knowing all of this I am hard pressed to not think “is a little colorful badge really worth having the foursquare app on my phone?”