FourSquare App Ecosystem, Part 1: 3 App Types That Won’t Pay

FourSquare App Ecosystem, Part 1: 3 App Types That Won’t Pay

Foursquare opened up its API in January, and not much happened.  The only reason I can understand why is that Foursquare itself doesn’t quite have the audience to demand the best and the brightest’s time on app development.  It’s getting there though, and fast.  This lead me to start thinking about the market as well as poking around the API and I think there are a few holes that app developers can fill and a few tempting ideas that will never gain legs.  I’m going to spend this post discussing a few ideas that people are trying (or are likely to try) that I don’t think will work.  Tomorrow, I will post a few ideas that I think there is room in the Foursquare ecosystem for.

The three coming failures in an otherwise booming segment (location-based):

  1. Foursquare clients – There are certainly some holes in the official client that would seem to make room for Foursquare’s own Seesmic.  I am betting against it though.  I have too much confidence in the guys at Foursquare, especially now that they are so well funded; I expect any momentary advantage a client gains over the Foursquare official clients is likely to be erased quickly.  Foursquare has too much to gain from advertising within its own client to allow another client to pass them up.

    Current Example: Kickball

  2. Foursquare games – Even Foursquare itself is getting away from the concept of a game, why does anyone think that adding a more complex game on top will be successful?  There are companies that will fall for the alluring possibilities though, and they will fail.  I don’t think the game aspect of foursquare will ever catch on, not with their point system or anyone else’s interface.

    Current Example: fiddme (kind of)

  3. Planning Tools – The beauty of Foursquare is the check-in concept, people can’t check-in until they’re there.  Don’t count on people using Foursquare for advanced planning, and “pre-checking in” to alert their friends where they will be.  Yes, they have a nice database of location data and that helps people plan, but there’s lots of location data on the web.  People will continue to use phones, email, texting, twitter etc… to plan meetups, Foursquare will remain for the spontaneous actions once you’re there.

    Current Example: PocketCrowd

These are just my guesses based on a feel for social media.  Do I have any dissenters?