Why I deleted Foursquare

Delete button

I deleted Foursquare. I know it’s not cool to admit that, but it just didn’t add value for me.

Most people don’t lead especially fascinating lives – they go to work, go
home, eat in the odd nice restaurant, and travel occasionally. Check-ins
are either routine or for show. Gym rats check in at the gym to show
how sporty they are. Jetsetters check in at various airports to show how
much they travel. Foodies eat. Either that makes you feel envious or
bored.

There is a voyeurisitic pleasure in tracking your friends’ progress around
the globe. But that’s not an attractive quality. It’s good to know what
they are up to but it’s awkward to raise it in conversation. ‘Oh so how
was Restaurant Splendido, last Saturday?’ elicits an uncomfortable
squirm. If 4SQ offered a chance to suggest they try the delicious pork
chop while they were actually at the restaurant, it might be different.

Privacy concerns aside, the chance to meet up with friends who happen to be at
the same location as you is theoretically interesting but in practice
marginal. The discovery aspect of finding new locations
can be done through
richer channels.

The tips are good but unfiltered and without context. You don’t know who
the author is, whether their opinion is considered or just a passing
remark, or even from a competitive offering. You rarely get the
information you want – like where the plug sockets are in the airport.
There are other ways to get that info
too.

I understand the potential marketing value of creating a Badge or
offering discounts for Mayors etc. It’s not that geolocation is a bad
idea – far from it. But from a user perspective you need to check in so
often and the rewards are so low, it wasn’t compelling. My experience is
that Foursquare is still a feature, not a network. For instance, the points
system didn’t engage me, and the iPhone app seemed unstable.

These may have been addressed in the three months since I last checked in. But with Facebook’s geolocation rumored to be announced tomorrow, I wonder whether we’ll see the bloom come off Foursquare’s rose.

  • Completely agree. Never signed on cause couldn’t see how it really added value to my daily life…

  • I, on the other hand, enjoy foursquare. I enjoy tracking my own life and creating a pattern out of it so that some day i can look back and see all the places I went and things i did regardless of how mundane or spectacular they may be. I also definitely raise people’s checkins with them when i speak to them face to face. if they post it it is fair game to discuss. also, i have used it occasionally as an opportunity to message back to someone when they checkin. It is an opportunistic way to say hi to someone. I completely agree that it is not for everyone and that most of us live more basic existences then we like to admit but the check in feature is a lot like the FB status update. An excuse to communicate and “talk” with your friends.

  • Yes – I gave it a concerted trial but it fell short. I’m hopeful one of the others, or perhaps FB’s, will get the value, features and control right.

  • Agreed, but I get the sense that when the other networks add geo-location, we’ll realize that 4SQ’s lack of features (user-to-user comms, location customization, check-ins without presence) will become a weakness.