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Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Foursquare Isn’t Competing With Brightkite

October 24, 2009 by Jason Bean  
Filed under Computers

I’ve been playing with Foursquare lately since they added Indianapolis to their list of cities. I was waiting on it to come to the city and now it’s here. I’m not sure it’s really what I expected at all.


I’ve been using Brightkite for quite awhile and honestly I thought that Foursquare and Brightkite would be competitors, but they’re really not. In my opinion Brightkite is purely a geo-location update service that allows you to check-in so people can know where you are and potential meet you out somewhere.

Brightkite is tightly integrated into Google mapping functionality and you can lookup a location and if it’s in Google maps you can check-in at that location. Your friends and fans can be alerted to your location updates and respond. You can also share comments and photos from the locations you’re at as well.

Foursquare is more of a social event and function website. I get the impression that what you’re doing is more important than necessarily where you’re at. Foursquare doesn’t seem to be connected to any mapping service under the hood because if you check-in somewhere for the first time, you have to add the address details and location yourself. I’ve rarely checked in somewhere where I didn’t have to do this, and those times were because I’d already entered the information myself earlier.

With Foursquare you collect points for checking in at various locations and you can earn badges for being the person that checks in to a location more than anyone else. You also leave "Tips" for people on what they should do when they’re at a location.

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  • YardBarker


2 Responses to “Foursquare Isn’t Competing With Brightkite”
  1. Thomas Ho says:

    I linked back to this post from my Foursquare post at

    I’m hoping the “game” of Foursquare catches on here in Indy so we get a higher rate of adoption than we have with Brightkite. As I said, I expect the ICVA and IndyHub folks would like that, don’t you agree?

  2. Jason Bean says:

    You’re right, any city’s convention and visitors bureau should really jump on these types of services. They can encourage people to use them, perhaps even sponsor contests or cross-promotions, but getting adoption rates increased really relies on the services themselves for the most part. The services need to be so easy to use that non-techy types are also using them. I think Foursquare not having any links with mapping search is a huge problem for their adoption. When you’re checking in somewhere, the chance that you know the phone number and all the address details is pretty slim for the most part.

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