In fact, Foursquare and Gowalla are basically in a statistical dead heat, at least in Austin. Multiple sources confirmed this information, and one actually showed me proof (which I was asked not to share). In other words, the war is still raging.
So why did Business Insider draw the conclusion that Foursquare was “mopping the floor” with Gowalla? Because they looked at their “The Hive” feature which scans Twitter for links being shared by influencers, and noticed that many more are sharing Foursquare links. Of course, the main problem with this information is that it uses a small sample set of data. The other problem, as Business Insider notes in an update, is that Foursquare tends to have more “spam check-ins” — that is, fake check-ins.
It’s important to remember that while Gowalla uses GPS data to verify a person is actually at the venue they say they are, Foursquare does not. That’s how this guy can check-in all over the world and steal mayorships for places he’s never been. The downside to Gowalla’s system is that sometimes it prevents you from being able to check-in at all, if they can’t verify you’re at a place. Or sometimes places are created in the wrong spot, so you can’t check-in some places even if you’re really there.
To use my own small sample set of data, it seems that the people on my social graph is Austin are in fact using both Foursquare and Gowalla to check-in everywhere they go. I’ve also noticed that more seem to be sending check-in data to Twitter from Foursquare. But again, that doesn’t mean they’re not using both, just that they’ve decided to use only one to send out data to Twitter (which makes sense), and for whatever reason, most are choosing Foursquare for that.
[image: DreamWorks Pictures]
Foursquare is a geographical location based social network that incorporates gaming elements. Users share their location with friends by “checking in” via a smartphone app or by text message. Points are awarded for checking in at various venues. Users can connect their Foursquare accounts to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can update when a check in is registered. By checking in a certain number of times, or in different locations, users can collect virtual badges. In addition, users...
Gowalla is a mobile and web service that gives people around the world a new way to communicate and express themselves through the everyday places and extraordinary settings they enjoy. People can capture and share their spot in the world with friends and family, while discovering new places, events and trips as they go. Gowalla offers businesses, campaigns, and organizations the unique opportunity to reward loyalty, reach new consumers, and to create memorable experiences. Based in Austin, Texas, Gowalla was...