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Foursquare und Gowalla: Nur ein Spaß für Nerds?

It’s a bad month to be Foursquare or Gowalla. Ten days ago, 900-pound gorilla Facebook announced Facebook Deals for Facebook Places (i,e., location-based coupons) and check-ins for third-party apps. A day later, Pew Research reported that, despite all the hype, the use of location-based services is actually declining in America, from 5% of the online population in May to 4% last month. Forget the fabled hockey stick; that’s more like a broken pencil.

I have no interest in enlisting in a virtual scavenger hunt, or unlocking merit badges — what is this, the Cub Scouts? — or becoming the narcissistic “Mayor” of my local coffee shop. Thanks for the offer, but I’m afraid I already have some semblance of a life.I do want to keep up with my friends, and (sometimes) let them know where I am. But if you’re competing with Facebook in social networking and your name isn’t Twitter or Google, I’m sorry, but I don’t like your chances.

Don’t get me wrong. Foursquare and Gowalla have done really well building ecosystems that attract early adopters. Unfortunately, the evidence indicates that they only attract early adopters. If they want to reach the majority who don’t care about making it to Mayor, they need to abandon their pretense of fun, stop pussyfooting around with silly slogans, and make their value proposition stark, simple, and profoundly unsexy: “Check in and get coupons.”

Look at Groupon. Do they have a cutesy motto? No, they just have the fastest growing company ever. Location-based services can and will be at least as big. But they need to make it clear that what you get is the ability to announce I’m downtown, I’m hungry, and I don’t know what I want to eat! or I need to buy a Kris Kringle gift, and I don’t much care where! – and then sit back and watch the discounts roll in.

Der ganze Artikel bei techcrunch.com

Mit der Einführung von Facebook Places und Facebook Deals wird die Luft für Anbieter wie Foursquare, Gowalla oder das deutsche Friendticker immer dünner. Dominiert auf der einen Seite die – vor allem technische – Entwicklung des Services das Geschäft, bringt Facebook das mit, was zur Massenmarktreife unerlässlich ist: Reichweite. Lediglich Anbieter wie Groupon, die einen simplen – und damit leicht verständlichen – Ansatz verfolgen, nämlich die Promotion von Coupons, wachsen derzeit weiter.

Meine Skepsis in Bezug auf Foursquare & Co. bestätigt sich hier. Ohne siginifikante Marktdurchdringung verkümmern dieses Services zu netten Spielereien, die am Ende des Tages aber niemand mehr braucht, wenn sich das „Neue“ abgenutzt hat.

Posted via email from christophsalzig’s posterous

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