It is fair to say that as an industry we have embraced Twitter. Just about every cafe or barista I know is on there, but don’t worry – this isn’t another moaning rant about Twitter killing blogs. Â I should probably preface this by saying that I am no social media expert a.
I was advised by a very smart friend, in the strongest terms, to get Square Mile onto Twitter asap about 15-16 months ago, being told it was about to go mainstream. It duly did. If you have any interest in social media you’ve probably read about the main issue facing Twitter – it has no obvious revenue model. Â At some point it needs to start making money and no one really knows how it plans to hit its projected revenue of $1.54 billion in 2013.
Many companies remain uncomfortable with the medium of microblogging – unsure of what to post, how hard to advertise, and it of course encouraged the myspace/facebook “collectors” who try and win at having the most friends. For regular users I think most people ended up having to cull the list of people they followed due to information overload. Â As such I don’t really trust people following more than 300 others. b While I think it is a great point of contact and communication I have to admit that FourSquare has piqued my interest recently.
I first heard about foursquare through the twittering of Octane coffee boss Ben Helfen – but at that time it was US only and I paid it very little attention. Â What surprises me is that I haven’t read more online about it, especially from US cafes using it. Â In summary Four Square is like a location focused twitter. Â Originally presented as a game it has blossomed into something else. Â When you visit somewhere – a cafe, a restaurant or any business – you “check in” through your location aware phone, leaving a comment or a tip for other users (suggestion of things to do/eat/drink). Â If you visit that business the most you become the “Mayor” of that business.
So far, so silly. Â However for businesses this is surely a great thing. Â You have people competitively visiting you, talking about you. Â More than that there is a pretty sensible business model in there too, meaning that foursquare could well be around in a few years. Â Coffee shops seemed pretty quick to embrace twitter, and it will be interesting to see if that experience has soured social media for them, or if they’ll embrace foursquare too. Â I post about this now because it seems to have spread outside of the US to London, and I am curious to see how cafes here will adapt or utilize it.
I am aware that foursquare could well be another flash in the pan, but for some reason it interests me. Â I’d love to hear from people with more experience of it – those in NYC etc?