Leading up to Facebook’s location announcement, there were two schools of thought. Either you thought Facebook Places was going to destroy Foursquare. Or you thought that this new service would help the startup by bringing more awareness to the location field. It appears that the latter is happening.
“Just heard from The @HarryH that today was @foursquare’s biggest day ever in terms of new user signups,” Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley just tweeted out a few minutes ago (@HarryH is the Twitter name of Harry Heymann, Foursquare’s engineering lead).
I’ve long been in the camp that believed Facebook’s entry into the location space would help a lot of these other check-in startups — at least initially. Thanks to the Places API, Facebook is currently serving as a platform for services like Foursquare and Gowalla. And thanks to their 500 million users, Facebook is introducing the concept of location to millions of new users. It shouldn’t be surprising that some of those users are now interested in Foursquare after yesterday’s announcement (and subsequent tidal wave of press).
All that said, Foursquare does have to be concerned about what Facebook is going to do in the future. Right now, Facebook’s location offering is very bare-bones, but you have to believe they will flesh it out more as time goes on. In particular, you can expect them to partner with businesses to offer deals and other incentives to Facebook members. You know, the kind of stuff Foursquare is doing.
Foursquare clearly has a plan for how they’re going to evolve going forward and stay ahead of Facebook. But they need to execute and make sure they can scale with all this new growth.
Earlier today, in an interview with the LA Times, Crowley revealed the service has about 2.8 million members right now. Given his statement tonight, you can expect them to hit 3 million shortly — perhaps even next week. Now it’s a matter of keeping those people around and engaged.
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...
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...