FOURSQUARE’S HYPE CYCLE

 

Only strong, differentiated, and innovative firms pass the test of time and success. It is vital for companies to know where are they standing in their cycle to pivot and make changes or die. The hype cycle is a graphical presentation developed and used by American information technology research and advisory firm Gartner for representing the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies. The hype cycle provides a graphical and conceptual presentation of the maturity emerging technologies through five phases: Technology trigger, Peak of inflated expectations, Trough of disillusionment, Slope of enlighten, and Plateau of productivity. Where is Foursquare standing in the cycle?

 

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  1. Technology Trigger

Foursquare experienced a rapid growth since its launch in 2012. There are other apps that dominate the market like Yelp, but they lack freshness of ideas and customization.  The app differentiated from competitors with his personalization and “check-Ins.” Millennials in major cities like San Francisco and New York popularized the app across the country.

 

2.Peak of Inflated Expectations

Foursquare flourished through a loyal and growing user base and the endorsement of influencers. Even former president Obama installed the app to discover new venues. The creators of the app decide to split the app. Foursquare will abandon its famous check in and will only focus on recommendations and personalization to find the hottest spots in town. Swarm will focus on “checking in” and finding friends nearby. The abrupt change disillusioned some users who did not liked the move.

 

3.Trough of Disillusionment

The company loses users and suffers from the split. It experiences phases of ups and downs. The company know that they have a good product that needs to improve to attract its target audience. Its competitors do not do that well due to the lack of personalization and allegations of manipulation of reviews.

 

4.Slope of Enlightenment

The company improves the product with its 8.0 in 2014 after the split with Swarm. The new version improves the user experience.  Even though it cannot regain the initial hype, it is benefited bad reviews from Yelp, its major competitor, about alleged pressure and abuse of business.

5.Plateau of Productivity

The brand has gained popularity and survived its toughest test: the split from Swarm. It has benefitted from its major competitor bad performance. The company has gathered valuable data to deliver a better product. The last couple of years have been stable for the company and the future looks good due to its unique proposition and position in the market.

The Social Media world is wild, only the strongest survive. Foursquare survived tough tests and is looking for a good and challenging future in the jungle of competition and innovation.

GOOGLE PLACES VS. FOURSQUARE

Consumers might ask what app to use when looking to find the best restaurant, bar, dentist and many other desired places. Which one is the best? That depends on what place and experience you are looking for.

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Google Places is the information that a search engine receives and uses from business lists. You can find basic information like a description, images, hours of operation, and contact information. You can also check reviews and ratings. One of the advantages is that it is a branch from Google and Google Maps. Places pop up after a result and the flow towards Google places is almost automatic if you are searching through Google.

The bad part is that it lacks personalization for millennials, foodies, and travelers who are Foursquare’s main audiences. In Google Places, you will find “whatever it is out there” and with Foursquare you can find whatever is in your personal interests.

If the consumer is looking for the most relevant dental offices in a suburb he can take advantage of Google Places. The branch of Google will list the surrounding offices along with ratings, comments, and contact information.

If the consumer is looking to have a more personalized experience, he should choose Foursquare. The app will guide him to places where his or her friends have gone and enjoyed. It will also take in consideration previous visits and personal input. Foursquare will not generate common or available recommendations. It is a targeted and tailored app from a different consumer base.

The answer of what app to use is not difficult. Both apps have pros and cons. Google places it is an automatic pop up from Google and Google Maps. It is informational, but not precise. Even though its growth since 2012, Foursquare has not the reach of Google. It is a tailored app for a more demanding audience. Foursquare and Google places are two different tools for different people.

 

 

YELP VS. FOURSQUARE

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The battle between Yelp and Foursquare is fierce. Both parties have pros and cons and a different user base. Yelp is the older and more traditional company with more users and associated businesses. Despite the large numbers, Yelp has been accused of pressuring business owners through the manipulation of reviews. On the other side, Foursquare is a more personalized app that will guide you through new places according your friends visits and your own personal input.

Yelp is a multinational corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops, hosts and markets Yelp.com and the Yelp mobile app, which publish crowd-sourced reviews about local businesses, as well as the online reservation service Yelp Reservations and online food-delivery service. The company also trains small businesses in how to respond to reviews, hosts social events for reviewers, and provides data about businesses, including health inspection scores.  Yelp has over 53 million reviews and 120 million monthly visitors. It is the first app that appears on the search results for any searches. The app has reviews about businesses from patrons who are passionate to take the time to write one or two paragraphs about their experiences.

Yelp has suffered from accusations of pressuring businesses into using their service or risk being black balled. The app relies on long form reviews, which limits the number of users that are willing to submit. Another disadvantage is that it has limited the power of “strong ties” among users because they aren’t strongly encouraged to connect to one another

Foursquare on the other side is connected among friends who leave tips and recommendations about their preferences. The app has gone through some changes since its launch, but it has brought a new and fresh ideas that millennials are adopting positively.  The app has one of the largest databases of user generated geolocation in the world. It has a user-friendly UI and great mobile experience overall. Their businesses partners can rely on its smart advertising and growth in the last years. The app has about 45 million users but, its personalization, data, and fresh approach threats Yelp’s number one place in the future.

FOURSQUARE USER INTERFACE

 

Foursquare User Interface has gone through some changes since it was launched. The biggest one is the cancellation of the “check-in.” For that matter it launched its app “Swarm” to solely focus in that matter. Next, we can review the changes for the latest version.

Foursquare 8.0, available for iOS and Android, is substantially different from the original, from its logo to its new function as a discovery engine. When you log into the app after downloading the update, it prompts you to set your preferences, which includes tapping through a series of “tastes” anything from chicken burritos and craft beer to trendy places and bar games.

Foursquare uses these preferences along with places you checked into in the past: data from your friends, and information from restaurant ratings. The app uses suggestions about new and popular places to shop, eat, or grab a cup of coffee. You can also use the app’s many filters to find the perfect place by narrowing your search by distance, places you haven’t visited, price, type of restaurant, and more.

Along with Foursquare’s new features is an important change to a privacy setting. Whether you’re new to the service or used the app in the past, Foursquare’s latest update automatically opts you into the Background Location setting, which actively tracks you wherever you go. In other words, Foursquare knows where you are at all times, whether you’re using the app or not. But if you’re concerned about location tracking and the data it will collect about your movements, you can turn it off, too: Inside the app, tap the Profile icon at the bottom, then tap Settings. Find the Location Settings option, then switch off Background Location. This will prevent Foursquare from logging your location when you’re not using the app. The company does, however, appear to think that users will be willing to exchange location information for a more personalized experience.

Foursquare believes that phones should learn about us, our tastes, our social connections, and our preferences. Using what they know, they should help us better explore the world. The all-new Foursquare strives to reach a vision of a more connected and personalized world with an easy to use app.

FOURSQUARE AUDIENCE ANALYSIS

Co-founder and consultant of the Nielsen Norman Group, Dan A. Norman once said: “Market segmentation is a natural result of the vast differences among people.” When a business can identify these differences: it is easier to deliver personalized value to its target audience. Foursquare target audience are: millennials, foodies, and tourists. Millennials are tech consumers, foodies are always on the hunt of the new delicious food in town and tourist are just simply looking for a good recommendation in an unknown place.

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A Millennial is the name given to the generation born between 1982 and 2004. The Millennial generation follows Generation X in order of demographic cohorts. This generation is often associated with technology and social media. Also, known as Generation Y. The Millennial generation is the first born into the digital world, specifically the Internet and social media. According to Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck “Millennials always drawn to the next big thing”¹
This is the reason that the main target for Four Square are the millennials. This group is constantly looking for the most innovative app that will make their lives easier and more exciting.

A foodie is a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages. A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger. The terms “gastronome” and “epicure” define the same thing: a person who enjoys food for pleasure. Foursquare is the perfect tool for foodies when they are looking that special food or unique drink that will quench their refined taste. The personalization of the app goes beyond the regular recommendation app. It is personalized; it asks you your preferences and then recommends that Vietnamese Pho that according to your initial input you will love. It also recommends places where your friends have visited. An intelligent app that uses preferences and contact’s data is the perfect tool for foodies.

Travelers and tourists can also take advantage of Foursquare’s power and recommendations. The app will not only recommend food places, but also, museums, amusement parks, stadiums, and many other attractions. It is difficult to go to a new city and find not only the best places, but the places according to your personal taste.

Making the unknown known is Foursquare’s objective. The app strives to deliver value and be the perfect tool for groups of millennials, foodies and tourists alike.

¹https://medium.com/foursquare-direct/millennials-are-spending-more-time-at-an-unexpected-location-theme-parks-b30d2fb727e5#.l4z4writo

THE NEW KID IN TOWN

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There is a new kid in town. The California kid is seven years old, but is gaining ground quickly. Launched in March of 2009 Foursquare is a local search-and-discovery service mobile app which provides search results for its users. The app provides personalized recommendations of places to go to near a user’s current location based on users’ “previous browsing history, purchases, or check-in history” From restaurants, museums, galleries, theaters and more. Foursquare is designed to be a more personalized app than its competitors like Yelp and Google Places.

The personalization is categorized and divided by: local search, recommendations, expertise, tips, taste, location detection, ratings, and lists. Foursquare detects your location, recommends you a venue based from your initial input and creates a list. Once experience the venue for either a restaurant, museum, movie theater or other; the app lets you give a personal recommendation and tip for future visitors.

Until late July 2014, Foursquare featured a social networking layer that enabled a user to share their location with friends, via the “check in” – a user would manually tell the application when they were at a particular location using a mobile website, text messaging, or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby.[8] In May 2014, the company launched Swarm, a companion app to Foursquare, that reimagined the social networking and location sharing aspects of the service as a separate application. On August 7, 2014, the company launched Foursquare 8.0, the completely new version of the service which finally removed the check in and location sharing entirely, to focus entirely on local search.

The California based app has experienced tremendous growth and expansion. As of December 2013, Foursquare had 45 million registered users. Male and female users are equally represented and also 50 percent of users are outside the US. Support for French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Japanese was added in February 2011. Support for Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Thai was added in September 2011. Support for Turkish was added in June 2012.

Foursquare is gaining ground and preference in the globe. It still millions of users behind its largest competitor. Personalization, trust, and a fresh idea might take the San Francisco based app to a first place

Don’t be left out and check out the app!