A couple weeks ago, we took a look at how Foursquare is increasing social capital and spoke to the company directly to understand their thoughts as they evolve into an emerging social web player. But what about the vehemont public reaction that Foursquare is nothing more than what some may cite as an impractical fad? This public reaction is furthered solified by the number of foursquare apps for individuals that have hit the market. Take AssistedSerendipity.com, for example, which notifies individuals when a nearby destination reaches a desirable male : female ratio. Or even Avoidr.org which which notifies you if an 'enemy' on your friend list checks into a nearby location. It can be argued that these apps help paint the picture of foursquare as a useless fad.
Perspectives, developed by Awareness Inc., which aggregates the who, where and why of consumer penetration with regards to their location, could potentially spearhead the shift that validates Foursquare as a serious tool for marketing and business, as it easily outlines the value of location based monitoring.
Could the development of these applications begin an emerging trend of moving towards business-based foursquare apps rather tha a focus on consumer-based foursquare apps? Perhaps. Enterprises like Starbucks already track financial numbers for their individual locations. Using tools such as Foursquare Perspectives, brands can see which individual locations have the highest repeat ratio (customer loyalty), the highest amount of total check-ins as well as a relatively low number of check-ins. In today's highly fragmented social web, all this information can help enterprises tailor their campaigns and brand commitments.
Yet, a number of questions remain to be addressed, as companies look to build on using Foursquare for the enterprise space. Chris Selland pointedly asks the following questions, on the Enterprise Irrelgulars blog:
-Will Foursquare accept the endorsement of companies building on their platform (a la Twitter) or will they build a closed off platform like Facebook?
-What is the incentive for consumers to continue to check-in?
-Can the Foursquare concept translate from places to products?
-Will Foursquare users readily rid themselves of privacy concerns?
What are your thoughts or comments on these concerns? How do you see the future of foursquare as a integrative commodity? We'd love for you to share your feedback with us!