Now that Facebook has officially thrown its really big hat into the geo-location ring it’s time to wonder, speculate and just plain guess about the future of location based services and the industry players. Because of their apparently awkward presence at the Facebook announcement the other day and the claims of Facebook founder Dennis Crowley (who is starting to get Biz Stone like Internet industry celeb status these days) that they didn’t get the Facebook ‘lowdown’ before anyone else, things are a little touchy.
The Business Insider reports from a Crowley e-mail to them where he seems more focused on his deal than Facebook.
We already allow users to publish their 4SQ checkins into the Facebook News Feed and we’ll eventually going to allow users to push them into the Facebook Checkin Feed. I’d imagine we’ll prob pull FB checkins into 4SQ too. We’re in the middle of a redesign and some new feature launches, so we’re going to get thru those before getting started on FB integration.
This kind of reaction is classic in that it acknowledges the obvious but makes it seem as if foursquare has its own stuff to deal with and will not stop its engine based on Facebook’s moves. Good PR but in practice we’ll see.
This tweet from yesterday also gives some nice spin in the direction that more people will be made aware of foursquare because of Facebook thus pushing their numbers up. That makes sense.
Then there is the “foursquare is doomed” camp. I like to call them “The foursquare Fun Bunch”. From a PC Magazine article titled “Facebook Will Crush Foursquare”
My guess is there will be a fair share of people calling Places a gross invasion of privacy. Others will fall in love with it and, like every other Facebook feature, use it to death. One thing you can count on, however, is that the only validation Facebook Places has given to Foursquare is the kind you use for parking. Facebook just validated your parking, Foursquare, feel free to leave the market.
From the same side of the coin (and using the exact same article title) comes this assessment from PC World
One of the odd aspects of the Facebook event launching the new Facebook Places service was the participation, support, and partnership of competing location-based check-in services. There may be some opportunity for a symbiotic relationship with Foursquare, but more likely Facebook Places will make services like it obsolete and crush Foursquare into a fine dust unless it implements an aggressive strategy to stay relevant.
While it is WAY too early to tell much of anything that won’t stop the speculation. There appears to be support for both sides of the argument but I suspect that as soon as foursquare suffers a hiccup of any sort everyone will jump ion them. Then the naysayers will come out in force. This puts great pressure on foursquare to do everything just right which will not happen in a business that has history with scale creating trouble for providers and users alike.
So what do you, the Marketing Pilgrim reader, think will happen? Let us know your thoughts because you know as much as the rest of us since no one can be sure of anything at this point, right?