The Foursquare mobile application caters to a very specific group of individuals; highly engaged users who usually live in major cities, have a significant amount of friends, are socially active and have a desire to discover new places on a regular basis. With big players like Facebook and Yelp releasing their own versions of “check-in” features this year, Foursquare is trying to ensure continued growth by expanding their network.
Last week, the company announced the roll-out of Foursquare 2.0 which focuses more on pulling in information of what’s around the user than pushing out information of where they are.
The below screenshots highlight how “Tips” and “To-Dos” now have their own section in the interface.
(Image from Foursquare.com)
By making these features more prominent and more of a focus within the application, Foursquare has the potential to increase their audience. “Tips” have evolved from entrée recommendations at a nearby Italian restaurant to traffic alerts from local news channel. “To-Dos” serve as another useful organizational tool that allows a user to save reminders about a particular location. With Foursquare 2.0, the application is positioning itself as more than a social check-in service and can now reach those who are looking for a hub of useful local information.
I continue to see articles concerning AOL’s slow implosion in the press. The latest in the salvo concerns the management at AOL consideration of shedding Bebo. AOL bought Bebo for $850 million two years ago, while they were still a part of Time Warner Inc. Bebo was an important piece of their transformation plan in which AOL wanted to move away from being a subscription based service for Internet access to a media business generating ad-supported revenue. When a business with the resources of a Time Warner makes a billion dollar bet and fails to monetize, one must wonder if they performed the proper vetting process or were they simply following the herd.
This is not the first failure in the firm’s acquisitions; Buy.at was recently jettisoned for $17 million after paying $125 million in 2008 for the dgital ad firm. Will its instant messaging service ICQ be next? When will the shareholders demand better stewardship from the leaders making these bets?
The small to medium business (SMB) owner would not survive if they followed the herd at each new fork in the technology path. SMBs must be better shepherds of their funds than the large public companies that they compete against, if they want to survive and flourish. So how does a SMB determine when to launch a social media campaign and which platform? Many variables must be considered such as these outlined in a recent blog post. When you are ready and have performed your due diligence, give us a call and hear how we can help you to make the correct bet.
Google Buzz was introduced to the world just a few short weeks ago as a new Social Media tool that allows for sharing of status updates, images, and videos via a new Gmail tab called Google Buzz. However in that short time, it has garnered plenty of attention and publicity. Unfortunately for Google, most of it hasn’t been the good kind. The search giant is being slammed by many outlets for Buzz’s lack of privacy, by sharing personal information without a user’s consent. Basically Google was ‘making’ you socially connected with people that you share email information with, which for all of us is a pretty scary concept.
Stories flew around about people getting caught cheating and women being reconnected with abusive ex-husbands. Very quickly, Buzz was tarnished. Google quickly scrambled to adjust their privacy settings in order to placate their users. These new options give users more control over the information you want shared.
But it’s far from over… Not a week later, Google is involved in a local class action complaint, where a Florida resident claims they have broken several electronic communications laws. It’s only a matter of time until we hear about more of these types of cases.
It’s concerning to watch such a giant corporation go through the deployment of a new product with so many bumps in a short span of time. It will be very interesting to see how Google responds and reacts to all the ‘buzz’ on Google Buzz.