The days when the global Twitter stream was devoid of derogatory remarks about Foursquare is now a thing of the past. Even heavyweight Twitter users, many of whom naturally extol the virtues of all Social Media channels, seem to jump on the anti-Foursquare bandwagon with alarming alacrity.
Well, as with many emerging technologies, it will take time to establish itself in the mainstream. Back in February 2004, an innovative new Social Media platform with big ambitions launched, but at the time many people thought it wouldn’t work. Six years and half a billion members later and who can imagine a world without Facebook?
Similarly, my boss has written a thoughtful blog post this week highlighting the people who queried whether computers would catch on. Whether emails would catch on. Whether websites would catch on. Did they? I’ll leave you to insert you own suitably pithy riposte here.
Social Media platforms, like any digital marketing channel, take time to grow, evolve and prove their worth. Back in 2004, the proposal of creating a ‘page’ where your customers could ‘like’ your brand would have seemed a concept as idea as Tiger Woods’ spectacular fall from grace. But today? Search for any blue-chip FMCG brand on Facebook and the chances are that you’ll find a polished page with heavy investment.
So how does Foursquare figure in all this? Well, quite simply, today’s Foursquare is 2004’s Facebook. An exciting new idea utilising the latest technology – in this case geo-mapping and location-based services (LBS) – Foursquare is nevertheless in its infancy, which for many marketers, means instant dismissal. Despite our moniker as ‘revolutionary marketers who champion new and emerging technologies’, many of us are anything but.
So it seems, that for the moment, Foursquare will continue to receive its fair share of undue criticism. It’s up to us, as digital marketers, to use some foresight and see how best we can exploit this new platform for our objectives – we could be looking at the new Facebook after all…