Citing privacy concerns and not wanting strangers to know where I was every moment I checked in to a location, I deleted my Foursquare account 14 months ago. Recalling the ensuing storm of comments my action caused in the fall of 2010, it was evident some people were passionate I made the right decision and others felt I should give the location-based application a second chance.
Was the second camp right?
Forrester Research recently surveyed 37,000 mobile users and in its report issued this month, a mere 2% of those users had Foursquare accounts.
My past caught up with me.
I’ll bet those Foursquare users are also active tweeters, only because when I created a new account a few days ago and was prompted to select friends to share my check-ins with, there were about 50 Facebook friends with Foursquare accounts but a whopping 500 Twitter friends with the accounts.
Make no mistake I’m an early adopter of technology. Time will tell to what degree I will use Foursquare and, while I remain concerned about privacy ramifications when people know where you are, I wanted to share with you that I recreated my account.
I do not intend to check in to every place I visit, as some do when they order cafe lattes and pancakes. But, I might.
I also don’t intend to check into far-away locations unless I want people to know I’m not home. But, I might.
For the short term, I’m only going to befriend people who live in a certain radius from me and who I trust explicitly to not abuse our relationship. But, I might share those status updates with strangers.
Despite the small percentage of internet users who are using location-based services on their smartphones and mobile devices based on that Forrester survey, there is no doubt that companies are paying attention and offering coupons to active patrons.
- To what extent do geography and demography play a part in Foursquare users and companies?
- How are social influence sites such as Klout and PeerIndex involved?
- What are the benefits to nonprofits? How should companies do it?
- Do more people check into locations who tweet than those who only use Facebook?
- Is the concern of privacy real or imagined?
There are many questions. Foursquare may not be mainstream but its users are having a fun time with it. People like checking into locations so many times to receive points and special deals. People like merit badges such as that of Mayor if checking into a location more than anyone else.
The other piece is I deleted my account when my mobile device was a BlackBerry. I since upgraded to an Android-powered HTC and the user experience is friendlier for my eyes and fingers. Will the difference in applications and the progression of 14 months make a difference?
Here’s to exploring new media and finding answers.
I used to be a Foursquare user before deleting my account.