Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hey Foursquare, I quit

I feel like such a failure.  I tried and tried to like Foursquare; I really did.  You know the drill.  Log in from your mobile phone and let your friends know all the great places that you hang out.  Find new eating spots, bars, and benefit from other users tips and business’s special offers.

That’s the promise, but the reality was quite different.

Why I quit Foursquare:

1.  I lead a boring life.  I quickly discovered that 95% of the places I go could be lumped into work, home, gas station, grocery store, and church.  I seem to spend very little time exploring hip, new Jazz clubs.

2.  The application is slower to get a location lock than molasses in Michigan in January.  Do you know how uncomfortable it is to get “that look” from your significant other because she doesn’t appreciate standing in the parking lot while waiting for the Foursquare app to decide to cozy up to the GPS chip?  Since other GPS dependent programs have no trouble getting a lock, and I’ve experienced it on two different phones, I’m blaming this squarely on Foursquare.

3.  Plain and simple, the Blackberry version is awful.  I can’t speak to Android or the iPhone versions, but along with half of the smart phone users in the US, I’m stuck on Blackberry.  Being stuck on this platform, it doesn’t make me a happy user to be neglected.  In more than a year, you guys couldn’t even figure out how to make your product WiFi aware? 

4.  Duplicates.  This one is huge.  Every time I go to check in to a major venue or a popular store, I’m confronted with choices on the order of WalMart, Wal-Mart, Wal Mart, WalMart #9337, Rt 9 Wal-Mart, and so on.  Until Foursquare gets a handle on duplicates, the system is going to get dirtier and dirtier and less and less useful.

5.  Lack of business support.  In more than a year of off and on use, I’ve come across exactly one electronic offer for 10% off watch repairs. 

If anyone can address these issues, I’d love to hear from you.  I truly want to like Foursquare.  It seems like it could be a fun diversion and I have no doubt that I’ll give it another try, but for now, no more mayorships for me.


  1. I'm with you! Even in San Jose it is no longer fun. (I have noticed that many more special offers do light up when I make the trip to San Francisco.) I have a couple local mayorships, which was fun to talk about for a little while. I'm tired of the clicking/tapping reward system. Today I couldn't connect to check-in at my lunch place and I didn't care. I also just quit the 1 Facebook game (which was not a -Ville of any type) that I had been playing with a couple friends.

  2. Hi Bryan,

    Thanks for the feedback. You nailed it with, "I didn't care." It wasn't that Foursquare caused me active pain, it was more like a relationship that just ran out of steam.


  3. I totally agree. I am done with FourSquare as well; you guys identified the lack of rewards for those of us not in Chicago/NYC/SF. Being as I am older than my girl scout days, the badge thing just doesn't do it for me.

    Having worked at one of the big map data companies, it's virtually impossible to manage duplicates well even with stricter rules. I know FourSquare tried with their Admin badges to get people to flag stuff as dupes, but that only works if they go back in and remove them. Which it never seemed like they actually did...

  4. Hi Jan,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The fact that Foursquare did nothing with most of the dupes--even after they were laboriously tagged by end users--that was infuriating.



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