As Foursquare passes the 2 million users mark, U.S Business Insider reports how many of the location-based gaming company’s biggest fans fear that it could be heading the same way as MySpace, as more and more ‘spoof’ locations are added.
I must admit that when I first started using Foursquare I instantly got the genius behind the concept, and as a keen foodie and drinker I set about snatching the crowns and leaving tips at my favour pubs and eateries. However, I’m now more interested in stealing the mayorship of ‘Blue House Red Door’, a complete stranger who lives near me and leaving random tips on other user added locations.
Okay, so it is great fun concept that I can be mayor of my favourite street, station platform, cubicle in the BrandShandy loo and table in the pub as well as complete stranger’s houses, but is all this randomness actually diluting the overall Foursquare experience? Droves of disgruntled users certainly think, if comments left at getsatisfaction.com are anything to go by:
Congratulations on screwing up Foursquare and taking all the fun out of the game. All of these “fixes” and “solutions” paired with letting people add anything and everything to the database with the attitude of “hey somebody may want to check in there, so why not” have absolutely killed Foursquare.
Another user writes:
One of the reasons MySpace was able to grow like a weed is because it had an “anything goes” attitude towards users that led to the creation of a lot of disposable joke accounts, fictional person accounts, and total freakshows like Tila Tequila. After the hype died down, MySpace experienced a population crash because (in part) the non-freak users got tired of the freakshow and started fleeing to better-managed sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Now, nobody can figure out how MySpace is supposed to make money, because it’s userbase is mostly semi-literate underemployed freaks who use the site mostly to become imaginary friends with strippers living six states away.
I’m afraid Foursquare is headed in that direction. Right now, non-freak users are trapped between the clashing rocks of the Indonesian Cheater Mafia on one side, and Guys Who Create Venues For Bathrooms on the other. If the users in the middle get fed up and leave, Foursquare is going to be left with a userbase that’s not particularly monetizable. America’s small (and large) business owners aren’t going to pay to reach people who never leave their bathroom (and/or Jakarta).
This apparent mounting tide of disharmony may force Foursquare to rethink its procedures around what kind of locations are created and who is allowed to check-in to them before interest moves to a new, better managed kid on the block. I certainly hope not, because Foursquare has certainly done well in blazing a trail and putting location based check-in gaming firmly on the map….question is are they about to be OUSTED?