Is Facebook feasting on Foursquare?

Jane: Honey, I just checked-in for you on Facebook places.

George: Checked what? Wait, did you just hack into my account?

Jane: No, it’s a new Facebook feature, like Foursquare.

George: Huh?

Up until recently, when you had the urge to tell people where you were located, you could use Foursquare. And then, Facebook Places was launched. Now the competition is ON.

Facebook places has raised countless questions. One of my own being, “Is Facebook feasting on Foursquare?”

It’s true that Foursquare has more incentives for users to check-in than Facebook does, but how long will those Mayorships encourage people to show their loyalty to businesses online?

n13foursquare[1] Dennis Crowley, the co-founder, defended questions on Foursquare’s survivability by saying, “We are working on a raft of new mechanics which we hope will keep Foursquare fresh and ‘check-in fatigue’ away.”

Crowley also offered a glimpse of his vision of Foursquare’s long-term future. “In the future, I want Foursquare to be able to tell people where to go wherever they are in the world, based on their previous visiting habits, likes and dislikes and the time of day…We want to be able to push venue suggestions to you. That’s what I am pushing towards as we develop Foursquare’s tools and how we use our data,” he explained.places-iphone-420[1]

On one hand, Fourquare has a focused network and an early movers advantage. On the other, Facebook has over 500 million registered users making it more attractive for businesses than its competitor.

Lawrence Coburn, the founder and CEO of DoubleDutch and a user of both networks, will not delete his Fourquare account just yet. Why? Because he doesn’t want to bombard his 500+ Facebook friends with his location information, especially when they don’t want to know about his trip to the hoops court or the coffee shop. He believes that networks like Foursquare were built specifically from ground up for these kind of updates and their integration with networks like Facebook allow for selective push of information, keeping people in both his networks happy.

Will Foursquare with it’s 3 million user base be able to catch up before Facebook implements all the missing pieces? Only time will tell, but it’s pretty clear that there is a long way to go before this feast is over.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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