Foursquare App Ecosystem, Part 2: 3 Apps That Will Win at Foursquare

Foursquare App Ecosystem, Part 2: 3 Apps That Will Win at Foursquare

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 spent yesterday’s post on three apps (or categories of apps) that I don’t think will take off.  Today, the good stuff.  The three concepts that I think will take off on the Foursquare API.

  1. Meetup Apps that Focus on People Who are Already There – One of the apps that I said would fail was PocketCrowd, which allows you to specify where you’re going to be so that a group of people you already know can form there.  While I think this idea will fail, apps that make a crowd out of the dispersed individuals who are already at a particular place will takeoff.  Foursquare itself already does this for my friends, if I check in at PNC Park and then realize that one of my friends is at the game, I can meet up with her for a beer.  What foursquare doesn’t do natively, but an app could do is help like minded people who are already in the same place, meet for the first time.  It’s not a great leap of imagination to think dating is the best use case.  That’s where the app “Singles for Foursquare” comes in.  I’m aware that flirting with a girl on the phone while you’re at the SAME BAR SHE IS is a little retarded.  I’m not saying I’m going to use this app, but I am saying that enough people will to make apps in this space viable.Current Example: Singles for Foursquare, RunnersUnite! (by Pittsburgh’s own Dick’s Sporting Goods)
  2. Scrapbooks/Analytics – One of the leading reasons people use check-in tools (as I previously discussed) is so that they know where they’ve been.  It creates a cool kind of automated life story.  There will be room for applications that help people piece together that story better then Foursquare itself does.  I see two kinds of applications in this space.  The first allows you to annotate your check-ins with photos and stories.  This type of app will supply you with the basics (the time you arrived, the friends who were there, etc…) but then expect you to build a scrapbook page or delete the record.  If you’re a guy and don’t believe this app will happen, check-out how many pictures your girlfriend has been tagged in on facebook.  The other app is a type of analytics, using Foursquares information to build maps and Feltron like reports.  If you’ve never seen the feltron reports, click here.Current Example: Couldn’t find a scrapbook, is map overlay, Foursquare has a stats feature already that does the analytics (though it leaves room for improvement).
  3. Recommendations – Another thing Foursquare does poorly (though you never know when they’ll correct this and steal your market) is surfacing recommendations.  My guess is that Foursquare will be doing this better (and mixing the user supplied recommendations with ads) soon.  In the mean time though, it’s difficult to see all the recommendations for places near my current location.  It’d also be cool if I only saw recommendations from people who were “like me” and within a radius that I define (am I willing to drive or does it have to be a walk?).Current Example: tipfinder

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

  • Hi Jon,

    I like the sequence of foursquare posts.
    Here is an example somewhere near idea #2, the scrapbook/analytics app:

    Looking forward to post 3/3, thanks,


    • Glad you liked it Tim, and thanks for the Twitter follow. Unfortunately, it was only a 2 part post, but I'm always coming back to Foursquare and other Social Networks so look for my posts on Twitter.