With Facebook and Twitter established as the major players of social media, it means that those who challenge this hierarchy have to have significant backing although in the case of Google+ this doesn’t necessarily mean success.
The other option is to focus on a specific area or niche and carve a reputation from there. A few social media sites like Flickr and have benefited from this but the best example would have to be Foursquare, the location based social network which began back in 2009. Now the company is gearing towards 2012 by using the information it has acquired to better understand consumer habits.
Reported by USA Today, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley views the unique data they’ve obtained since the company’s birth as the weapon they need to tackle the bigger social media sties directly.
Speaking to Jon Swartz, Crowley said that the data Foursquare has is different to what other sites have to offer as it focuses on a specific area.“The only thing we do is location. Facebook is news feed, sharing, photos. Google is search, maps, Gmail.”
Its this specific focus that makes the service more than just a way to track your location, the data it has and receives means that it can be mined to highlight the shopping and consumers habits of its users. The fact that it is used alongside merchants means that there is great potential for directing consumers and businesses to one another through the data accumulated.
This year alone, the app has obtained 15 million members, 600,000 merchants and around 4 million check-ins each day. To emphasise how much it has grown, this time last year, the service had 5 million members, 300,000 merchants and around 1.5 million daily. The fact that it runs on the major smartphone models like iPhone and Android has contributed to its success.
However, while it has been successful in the U.S., the service hasn’t seen the same uptake in other parts of the world. Foursquare are rumoured to be releasing a new product next week but Crowley couldn’t comment on it.