Checking-In with Apps: Where is Foursquare Now?


It seems the most recent trend in the social networking world is “checking in” to different places in order to let people know where you are. There are tons of apps that allow you to do so and new apps are constantly challenging the old. One of the most common apps is Foursquare, which not only allows you to search for new and exciting places to visit, but also tells people when you are there. The question is whether or not Foursquare can stand up to all of the competition. 

Foursquare has always remained one of the most popular social networking sites, but recently there have been a lot of questions raised about its decline. Currently, it sits at number 24 on the top charts in the iTunes App Store, far below other similar apps like LinkedIn, which is number five and Find My Friends which holds the top spot. Find My Friends is an iPhone only app that uses your phone’s GPS to track your location and post it for your friends to see. Although it is much more limited in its features compared to Foursquare, it seems to be more popular. LinkedIn is also a similar app that is aimed more at older professionals, allowing them to show their check-ins using a timeline and connects with colleagues in the professional world. 

Of course, there are also other apps which used the general idea of Foursquare but have narrowed their audiences and become more specific. There are apps like Urbanspoon that let its users search for nearby restaurants based on price or the type of cuisine, something that can also be done in Foursquare. Urbanspoon also allows you to check in to the restaurant you’re visiting. These more specific apps seem to be doing just as well as the more general ones. As for how Foursquare will handle its new competition, it seems to be more about a matter of taste rather than about the quality of the app its self. Most students who were asked about Foursquare commented on how they don’t use it at all, or don’t use it anymore. 

“I never used Foursquare. I’ve heard of it, but none of my friends ever used it, so I didn’t either,” junior Angie Lebron said. “You can check into places on Facebook or Tweet about it, so that’s what I do. That’s where my friends are.” 

Facebook has added the “Check-In” option for its users, and also allows them to add a location to an uploaded picture. Although Twitter may not have the option to check in, hashtags seem to be the site’s equivalent. Even the most recent updated version of Instagram allows its user to add their pictures to a “Photo Map,” which lets their followers know exactly where the picture was taken. 

The more appropriate question at this point doesn’t seem to be whether Foursquare will hold its own against newer competition, but whether it can compete with the more general and popular social networking sites that dominate when it comes to number of users.