It’s funny how early adoption works and how you start to see recurring patterns. When I started using Twitter there were numerous people who questioned what it was, why it was useful, and mocked it. A couple of years later, Twitter is still on a tear.
I’m seeing the same thing with Foursquare today. Early adopters are using it, it’s starting to spread, and once again people I know are confused by it, think it’s useless, and that it has no real business.
However, in some ways it may even have a brighter future than Twitter based on creating the location to local business connection. They’ve started to roll out some very interesting partnerships which I assume have revenue implications. If they don’t now, they will in the future as Foursquare’s user base takes off.
Check out this quote for example:
“Being able to drive foot traffic into our restaurant partners and our retail partners is a huge opportunity, because that’s where our product is sold,” said B. Bonin Bough, director of social and emerging media for PepsiCo.
There are going to be some very interesting things that can be done with this, and it’s going to drive Yelp, Facebook, Yahoo!, Google, and others after checking in and driving local traffic to businesses.
I had my first real example of this when I checked into my hotel for Ad Tech San Francisco, and Foursquare alerted me that I could get half off appetizers in the hotel bar. I had already settled in my room, but it made me think about actually taking advantage of the deal which would have driven more revenue to the hotel. That is worth something to the hotel, something worth paying Foursquare to drive to them. Foursquare also doesn’t appear to be waiting until they’re huge to make this happen, which seems like a wise move to get established as the early player working with businesses.