Foursquare Hits 10MM Users, Now What?

Congratulations Foursquare on 10 million registered users globally. Now what?

The company has raised roughly $21 million in funding and has a $100 million (approx) valuation according to informed speculation. There are reportedly 400,000 SMBs now “on” the site and 10,000 developers who’ve used the Foursquare API.

I asked yesterday how many Foursquare users were “active,” which I defined as on the app/site at least once a week. I didn’t get that answer but received the following from the company’s PR team:

Foursquare is adding around 1 million new users each month. Additionally, foursquare has received over 650 million check-ins since launching. Each day, foursquare receives around 3 million check-ins.

Three million check-ins is not necessarily three million people. My “seat of the pants,” anecdotal guess is that fewer than half of registered users are active on a weekly basis. By the same token there’s a huge global market and  — assuming the accuracy of the above statement — by this time next year we could see another “infographic” with 20 million users.

I believe that Foursquare is on a collision course with Yelp. It essentially occupies the same “space” and fulfills a similar need and use cases for both consumers and SMBs. However Yelp is much more mainstream and more widely used than Foursquare.

Better location data, richer content and deals/offers are Foursquare’s ticket to mainstream adoption in the US and European markets. In my view, Foursquare will need to tie itself more closely to local deals, either through acquisition or a deep partnership.

Of course Yelp and Foursquare can co-exist. People use multiple sources to make buying decisions (2-3 sources on average according to recent LSA research).

Foursquare’s ultimate destiny is probably to be acquired by a Google or Microsoft or perhaps even Apple. Investors probably have some milestones they want to hit before taking any acquisition offers seriously however.

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4 Responses to “Foursquare Hits 10MM Users, Now What?”

  1. Mike Byrne says at

    Greg,

    I don’t think registered users is a good metric. It tells me only that people registered and checked out a service. I wonder about an abandonment metric. I have friends who signed up for Facebook, checked it out and abandoned use within a few days. Their accounts are still active and counted.

    The space for attention is getting more crowded everyday. I believe people are going to find one or two services they like, stick with them and abandon the others.

  2. Greg says at

    Companies use whatever metric makes them appear most successful.

  3. Michael says at

    Greg,
    I agree, Foursquare will have to focus on Local Deals upon Check-In to be competitive with Yelp. The other issue with Foursquare is the validity and overall messiness when searching for a location “Nearby”. I may get 5 Private Homes and someones bathroom before I can find a local restaurant.

  4. Larry says at

    They shouldn’t have to be on a collision course.  Yelp, Foursquare et al are all thin layers in the geo stack, and the promise of location data seems proportionate to the depth of that data.  

    But there still needs to be a common frame or base map to support this..      

  5. Amex Expands Deals with Foursquare says at

    […] wrote the other day that better location data, richer content and deals/offers are key to mainstreaming Foursquare […]

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