Facebook Places: This Changes Everything

Sorry for stealing iPhone 4 tag line. “Facebook Places changes everything; end of privacy as you know it” could have been another title to this post but I decided not to scare you even before you read the post. Privacy, though in my view, is a myth in this social media era and Facebook Places just takes us one more step closer to becoming the broadcast generation.

Facebook Places I am not writing today about privacy but only hinting towards what the future holds for privacy. Facebook Places will soon change the way we keep our friends posted about where we are at any given point in time. Most of you know Foursquare as the more successful version of what Facebook Places will be once it is unleashed to the rest of the world. At this moment if I were in the Foursquare camp; I would be looking for a suitor.

Future of Foursquare is bleak and there are number of reasons.

Business Model

Foursquare lacks it, Facebook has nailed it.

It is one thing to have Starbucks offer $1 off to mayors than it is to struck a deal with Microsoft at the tune of $240 Million. Facebook has the love of advertisers no matter how you look at it. Apart from geeks, no one really knows what Foursquare is and why they should use it.

Psychology

Foursquare is by choice, Facebook is by default.

Most people who use Facebook know what they are getting into, apart from occasional criminals and school teachers. Facebook has turned my generation, Gen Y, into hungry and to-the-minute-keep-me-informed-about-the-most-mundane-details machine. Facebook users will just gobble down places as another feature that lets them broadcast their location to their friend because they don’t care about privacy. Why use two different services to practically achieve the same result? It is easier to adapt Facebook’s new feature because you are already using all the other features and it is a matter of time. Can you say the same about Foursquare?

Size

Foursquare is Chicago, Facebook is the 3rd largest country.

Foursquare’s almost 3 Million users don’t even come close to Facebook’s 500 Million plus members. Who ever told you that size doesn’t matter was not really being honest. Size does matter; no matter what the situation. Foursquare can claim to be the first service of its kind but sometimes to be the first doesn’t mean anything. Even though Facebook is playing catch-up; it can still leverage its enormous user base and gain market share.

To summarize… Foursquare is not going to be around that long. I have stopped using Foursquare…

What do you think? Will Foursquare survive?

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