Between late January and early March of this year, BART riders were asked to take a survey about the partnership between BART and Foursquare. The results are interesting. Not really interesting in substance, but interesting in that they seem to mean almost nothing.
For example, the crown jewel of the survey is that 38% said it was “more fun to ride BART” using Foursquare. How exactly using Foursquare makes BART more “fun” isn’t clear from the survey. Most people use Foursquare simply to check-in to alert their friends where they are. Yes, there are some game elements like points and badges, but it’s not like you’re actively using the service while you’re riding BART in order to have fun.
Also, while they don’t point this out in the release, for the same question, “Has your use of Foursquare changed your experience on BART?,” 45% responded, “Not really.”
Also humorous, while BART says they created the survey for BART-riding Foursquare users, according to the results, 54% responded to question #1, “When did you first start using Foursquare?” with “I’ve never used Foursquare.” So basically, more than half of the people that saw the “Complete this short survey and have a chance to win a $50 BART ticket” header gave survey results that were unusable. That left BART with around 450 usable responses.
And of those usable responses, a full 31% said “No, I don’t check in at BART stations.” 400 people answered that question, so we’re already below 300 people taking the survey that actually use it.
To the question, “Do you recall using BART in the last three months because of a Foursquare tip/recommendation?,” a full 70% responded, “No.” Likewise to the question, “Overall would you say you’re riding BART more, less or about the same because of your interaction with Foursquare?” 82% responded, “Same.”
Still, it’s not all useless info for Foursquare. Of the limited number of people who did take the survey and use the service, 93% were “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to recommend it to a friend. And nearly 30% started using it in just the last 6 months. And the users tend to me more affluent, younger, and more male than other BART riders.
The best question may be the control question that the survey creators threw in to make sure people were paying attention: “What’s your favorite color?” 34% answered “Blue.” It almost beat out, “Why are you asking me this?” (36%)
You can find the full survey here in PDF form.
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...