Foursquare scheint doch eine solide Strategie zu haben.

Foursquare LogoSeitdem Foursquare seine Dienste in zwei Apps unterteilt hat (Swarm und Foursquare) nutze ich keine der beiden mehr. Wie vermutlich viele habe ich Foursquare bereits abgeschrieben, fragte mich das letzte Jahr seit der Änderung immer wieder, ob sich die Firma von dieser – meiner Meinung nach schlechten strategischen Entscheidung – jemals erholen könne.

Ob die Entscheidung gut oder schlecht war, kann ich noch nicht beurteilen. In einem Interview auf kann man jedoch lesen, dass es durchaus eine interessante Strategie hinter dem gesamten Unternehmen gibt. Leider betrifft diese eher die Foursquare App. Es scheint so, als hätte man mit Swarm einfach nur die Spieler extrahieren wollen, um sich auf das ernsthaftere Business mit den Location Tipps zu konzentrieren. Warum beides nicht zugleich machbar war, wissen nur die Strategen bei Foursquare.


Das Geschäftsmodell von Foursquare

Eine entscheidende Zielgruppe von Foursquare ist B2B: Unternehmen, die ihre eigenen Services mit den Foursquare Daten aufwerten wollen. Wieder einmal sind Daten das neue Öl. Foursquare lizensiert seine Location-Daten an andere Unternehmen:

we’re doing it with our enterprise offerings, where we’re licensing our data out to the Twitters, the Microsofts, and the Pinterests, and the 80K other developers, and we’re doing it with this entire ad-tech stack … Pinpoint.

Mit Pinpoint können Advertiser auf fremden Plattformen Nutzer mit Hilfe der Location-Daten von Foursquare targeten.

„…a Pinpoint ad looks like any other mobile ad that you’ll see on ESPN, or Deadspin, or Clash of Clans. It’s the same ad unit. It’s just gonna be more specifically targeted at you because “Hey, you were at two airports this month…“

Klingt nach einem riesigen Datenschutzproblem, aber wer weiss schon, was in den AGBs steht. Foursquare scheint also Wege gefunden zu haben, mit seinen Daten Geld zu verdienen. Nur die Nutzerbasis scheint noch zu gering zu sein, gibt der Gründer Dennis Crowley selbst zu. Vielleicht hätte er die beiden Apps doch nicht trennen sollen, dann wäre die Nutzerbasis eventuell schneller gewachsen. Jetzt denkt jeder, Foursquare ist ein zweites Yelp.




10 Ideas for a digital decade

Continuing on blogging about trends for the upcoming year/decade I just stumbled upon a paper by Edelman about ten ideas for the new decade.

Steve Rubel has an embedde scribd in his lifestream, as well as a short video about 4 of the main points underlying the 10 ideas mentioned in the paper:

  • Global (technology, consumers, applications, etc.)
  • Mobile (mobile devices, use cases, etc.)
  • Companies (can’t stand on the sidelines any longer)
  • Data (driving everything, smarter decisions, data privacy).

Heineken Advergame: Google Maps with real life geo tracking.

Heineken in the Netherlands has launched a new advergame which looks interesting. The game asks playes to spot and track the delivery men of Heineken around the Netherlands and find out what their next stop will be. Whoever guesses correctly first, gets the chance to win a Nokia phone. So in a way, this game play is not that complicated or creative.


What I admire, is something completely different: Apparantly, these delivery men are tracked in real time with real journey data, during the regular working hours. And this is remarkable. I have also worked for clients with a huge fleet of delivery vehicles and I do appreciate the fact that Heineken managed to include their drivers into this game. Creatives usually come up easily with lots of brilliant ideas how to connect the mobile workforce of a client with a webpage via all sorts of mobile devices like phones or GPS tracking devices. But organisational reality most of the time kills these ideas.

So this won’t have been easy to push through the internal, most likely rather political, approval and commitment chain in order to get the buy in of all the different departments (marketing, distribution, logistics, etc.). Kudos, I like that.


Links & News, 12.11.07

Google, Marissa Mayer and the future of search

The Searchnomics Conference just took plave a few days ago. Read/Write Web covers the presentation of Marissa Mayer of Google, who talked about 8 areas Google is currently working on (or has launched only recently), which will define the future of search:

Automated translation: According to Mayer, someday in the future Google could automatically search content in all languages and present all the translated results to the user on the same page, regardless of language!

Book search: they are adding metadata about books, so that Google’s algorithms can understand what the book is about, relevant references, and availability of the content.

Images and video: one of their recent changes is to include all web videos into Google search; it is no longer limited to content within Google Video

Voice search: a free phone service that you can call to perform a voice search. As the usage of this system rises, the increasing number of samples of user input will be used to improve voice-to-text technology; users are, in effect, training the system to recognize voice commands

Universal search: the blending of different types of content, such as images and news, into the main search engine

Maps and local search: There are some interesting new advances in this area – for example, Google Maps now supports traffic display, based on data licensed from third parties…

Client software: Google Gears and Gadgets: Google Gadgets enables third-party developers to create tiny applications that live on the desktop and connect to the web in the background to pull in information from the web. Google Gears provides a browser plug-in that, in Mayer’s words, takes Ajax applications and makes them better.

iGoogle: As an example, Mayer said that although she’s a big fan of Netflix, she probably would not make it her home page; with a gadget, however, Netflix could still establish a presence within her home page

One of the most interesting things for me is, however, how people get so excited about Marissa Mayer:

At the end of the session, I had the opportunity to meet her briefly [certainly one of the high points of the conference for me!]

Admittingly, she is pretty. And supposedly, she is also very smart. But the main things is positioning. She is a pretty and clever girl in a world of geeks.