This week, Mark Zuckerberg introduced Facebook's much anticipated Places
update for Facebook's iPhone app. The new tool functions much like
geolocation pioneer Foursquare, allowing users to "check-in" to various
locations, as well as tag their friends. Despite mild privacy qualms
concerning the new service, many tech and social media writers see this as an opportunity for Facebook to solidify its status
as king of the social media space. Yet despite the Facebook's huge push
into the geolocation space, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley wasn't
that "today was @foursquare’s biggest day ever in terms of new user
sign-ups." Will Facebook Places actually help Foursquare, or is the
godfather of geolocation on its way out?
- A Temporary Boost MG Siegler
at Tech Crunch thinks Foursquare may enjoy the "Facebook effect," benefiting from Facebook's mainstreaming of geolocation services.
"Thanks to the Places API, Facebook is currently serving as a platform for services like Foursquare and Gowalla.
And thanks to their 500 million users, Facebook is introducing the
concept of location to millions of new users. It shouldn’t be surprising
that some of those users are now interested in Foursquare after
yesterday’s announcement (and subsequent tidal wave of press)." That
said, Siegler does see potential problems ahead for Foursquare. "In
particular, you can expect them to partner with businesses to offer
deals and other incentives to Facebook members. You know, the kind of
stuff Foursquare is doing."
- Can They Maintain? Adrianne Jeffries
at ReadWriteWeb echoes Siegler: "That likely means upwards of 18,000 people signed
up for the location-based social network, probably buoyed by a glowing article
in today's New York Times and the press generated from yesterday's
announcement of Facebook Places."
- The Differences Are Clearer Now, says The Los Angeles Times' Jessica Guynn: "Foursquare attracts users by getting them to compete for
rewards and bragging rights," writes Guynn. "For example, Foursquare
users compete to become “mayor” of a physical location by “checking in”
there the most times in a 60-day period. Facebook is betting its users
will get value not from broadcasting their locations to the world but
from sharing their locations with friends."
- It's Too Early To Tell writes Lucian Parfeni
at Softpedia: "It's very possible that, as Facebook fleshes out Places
and adds more features and functionality, Foursquare will have to work
harder to differentiate itself. And, while the company is clearly
thinking at ways it can stay one step ahead, it will be very hard to
fight against Facebook's biggest asset, its 500 million users. Facebook
hasn't made a very aggressive move with Places. While it definitely
competes with Foursquare, Gowalla and others, by duplicating some of
their functionality, it has a slightly different focus and will
emphasize the 'places' rather than the 'check-ins.''
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