As most of you know, yesterday, Facebook launched “Facebook Places” (their foray into the location based app marketplace). And even though Places is currently “coming soon” to “my region” (which is the tiny town of Los Angeles by the way), I can promise you that I’ll soon be done with Foursquare and moving forward with Places. And my guess is you will too. Here’s why: My friends and family are already on Facebook. It’s that simple. At the end of the day a community site, just like an offline community, is about the people. The power of these apps is not the “game-play” it’s the people/community and the experiences that they are subsequently able to facilitate. Imagine checking in to a restaurant, and seeing that an old friend and his wife just checked in at the bar across the street. Wouldn’t you meet them for a drink? Which would be more important: Minor details in the way the app functions, or the access it gives you to your community? I think for most people, it will be the later.
As we’ve seen, community sites take years to “tip” and unfortunately for Foursquare (and their competitors) they just didn’t have a large enough window. Will some people stick with the app they’re currently using? For the time being, probably. Will the “masses” adopt one of those apps now? Doubtful. Why would they use another application when the same functionality (in their eyes) is built in to an app they already have (let alone, most people currently have no idea what the heck Foursquare and Gowalla are…)?
I think we’ll see an exodus, as people that use a different app migrate to where the people are, Facebook. And while Foursquare was a brilliant idea, my guess is that it will soon be remembered fondly… the location based “Friendster” if you will.
So, that’s my two cents… what do you think? Please comment below, or you can find me at: http://twitter.com/jack_benoff