We’ve all heard the news this week that Foursquare has topped 3 Million users. This comes just a few weeks after the grandaddy of all social media networks, Facebook, launched its own geolocation angle called Places.
While the number is truly impressive for those of us who have used it Foursquare for the past few years, what does it mean? Is mainstream America seeing the value in check-ins on their mobile device?
I don’t think so – yet.
There is no question that apps like Foursquare, GoWalla or even Yowza! can be powerful tools for business and consumers alike. For marketers like me, you can send direct messages to a hyper-targeted consumer base on their location. Toss in great analytics about usage and it makes perfect sense.
For the consumer, it gives them another opportunity to save money with timely offers to retailers, restaurants or other entertainment properties.
Despite the clear advantages, adoption is still low.
When you consider there are now over 7 million iPhone active in the US, and another 3+ million Android OS phones, you can see that less than half of those phones are using geolocation apps like those mentioned above. True, it is growing but what will it take for people not interested today to be interested tomorrow? Can the “push” offers retailers and marketers so value ever be viewed as non-creepy?
I believe part of the issue is for non-consumers is the value proposition. For some, the offers don’t outweigh the perceived loss of privacy. Others just don’t understand why you’d want to broadcast to the world your whereabouts, hence the “creepy factor.”
Maybe because I am an early adopter, and a marketer, but I do believe the use of these apps will continue to grow. This is especially true of younger demographics who want to share experiences with their social networks.
What do you think? Will mobile apps which share your location and send you specific deals or offers ever be a big hit with the general consumer?