Todd Lyden



SocMed/App Enthusiast

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Foursquare Losing the LBS Wars

An interesting battle in the war of geo-location services or location-based services.
Last week, Chipotle Mexican Grill started offering a Facebook Places Deal. The backlash was immediate and not pleasant from Foursquare. Their CEO publicly admonished Chipotle on Twitter to setup a Foursquare promo deal.
It's hard not see why Chipotle went with Facebook first. They have over 1 million fans on Facebook alone!The deal was apparently simple: show the local restaurant that you checked in and you got a BOGO deal. Not bad!
This was a BAD move for Foursquare. It makes them look petty. While Chipotle is taking the high ground and simply saying they can offer a 4Square deal in the future. I actually Tweeted to asked and was told "lots" took advantage of the deal.
Looking at Chipotle's Facebook page for the event, there were some glitches obviously. In the end, this is unlikely to bring in a BUNCH of new customers, but instead of doing a PAID service or email, why not do it this way and save the expense? 
You can easily track the results and learn from the mistakes for anything similar in the future. 
This is an instructional moment in the LBS (location based services) war that is brewing.
Facebook has an apparent edge with its built in base. Foursquare has reached 4.5 million users. Competitors Loopt (4 million users), SCVNGR (1/2 million users in 20 weeks), and Gowalla (approx. 1/2 million users) are closest. But who can match Facebooks over 500 million users worldwide?
I can only say to folks, use them all- try them all out in terms of the deal for small business. For the consumer, just beware and know what you are getting yourselves into. For my money, no one does the social media deals like californiatortilla.com. This past election day, they gave away tacos to anyone with their I VOTED stickers. They run deals and specials all the time- wonder if they have anything on Foursquare?

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