Foursquare vs. Facebook Places

Which do you prefer?

Although Facebook Places is in its infancy, it is definitely causing a stir in the social media world — especially for one of the leading location-based networks, Foursquare. Blogs everywhere are blowing up on this topic and many believe that Facebook Places will be the Foursquare killer once it becomes more developed. I don’t think anyone can accurately determine which will come out on top yet. Personally, I’m team Foursquare and though I love Facebook, I want to use Facebook for Facebook purposes, not location-based purposes. After the jump I point out the pros and cons of both Foursquare and Facebook Places and why I ultimately believe that Foursquare won’t be dying anytime soon.

Foursquare

Pros:

  • When checking-in to a location, you can post to your Foursquare wall, Twitter feed and Facebook wall all at the same time — or not at all. You can be prompted that option each time you check-in and decide where to post on a case-by-case basis.
  • Foursquare has some great badges that users strive for, making this social network more than just a network — it’s a game, too. Games are fun and people like having fun, thus, people like Foursquare.
  • Discounts, discounts, discounts! Businesses have linked with Foursquare to promote discounts and special deals for check-in’s and mayors.
  • Available for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, and more.
  • Foursquare is focused on the location-based service — they don’t have any other services that they are working on. It’s more about quality not quantity.

Cons:

  • Foursquare has a much smaller market than Facebook or Twitter. A social network game is more fun with friends!
  • Like all location-based services, you are allowing other people to know where you are. Check out PleaseRobMe.com to see what others have to say about location-based services. However, if you have issues with privacy, you probably shouldn’t be using location-based services anyway. I feel relatively safe with using Foursquare — I regulate my small group of friends and I feel like less of my information is shared to the world (than Facebook).

Facebook Places

Pros:

  • With over 500 million users on Facebook, you will find others to be able to share this experience with.
  • Facebook and Facebook Places are in the same location.
  • You can tag other people in your check-in’s (could be a con as well, leads to privacy issues).
  • A good projected guess is that Places will integrate with businesses, which will result in discounts and promotions. Because Facebook has a larger market, they have a better opportunity to get businesses involved — leading to more deals and discounts for users.
  • Once integrated, Facebook Places will provide yet another social media marketing strategy for businesses.

Cons:

  • Facebook Places is only a small portion of what Facebook is — they could be taking on too much to create a quality location-based service.
  • You might not want to share your location with all your Facebook friends (old high school friends, Grandma, coworkers).
  • Currently available only on iPhone and Facebook Mobile Touch site.
  • Facebook has recently changed their brand/community pages — I’m really not sure which is which. Not super intuitive right now.
  • Thought you had privacy issues before on Facebook? Well, Facebook Places can and will open up a new can of worms, especially because you have the option to tag other people in your check-in’s. Read more on that topic here and here.
  • Most of the people that I know who want to use location-based networks already use Foursquare and those who don’t, don’t want to become involved, period. Facebook Places could just anger people by forcing Places into their faces.

Though Facebook Places will rapidly change and grow, Foursquare will definitely not give up either — they will both continue to update and work to be on top. Who knows, you may want to use both Facebook Places and Foursquare in the future for double the benefits. Personally, I believe that Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter can all run together because they each have their own benefit. I don’t necessarily want to share the same information on all three networks, instead, there is a time and place to share on each individual network.

What do you think? Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments.

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3 Responses to Foursquare vs. Facebook Places

  1. Pingback: Gearing Up For Fall « The PR Post

  2. Sheldon says:

    Nice post… looking forward to more post on this with the Foursqaure vs Facebook places/deals.

    What you think about Groupons? are they going to be affected by facebook deals?

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