Are the Smirking Jackals Hoping to Kill Foursquare in the Cradle?

Those of us in the social media and marketing industry have seen the reports over the last day or so: “Only” 4% of US adults who go online are using geo-location services like Foursquare, Gowalla and the like.

The people who hate these services, find them annoying (fair enough) or don’t understand them likely take this as proof that these services are doomed to failure.

Here’s the real problem– people’s sense of time, their patience, has left them.

Remember this headline (or others like this), from mid-2009, a full two and a half years after Twitter launched?

Only 1 in 20 Americans Use Twitter

If my math is good, that works out to 5%. Are people writing off Twitter now? The same organization Pew, that people are quoting to show how “little” traction geo-location services have, also puts the Twitter number up to 24% (up from 6% in 2008, a bit different than the story linked above stated, but still).

By the way, here is the direct link to Pew, which doesn’t offer judgment in the upfront summary.

And, a more sane analysis from Business Insider (!), comparing Foursquare to Twitter growth rates.

Ignore geo-location services at your peril. These are early days, and things are just getting started. True, the location-based aspect may limit the final growth of these services (and sure, some uses are annoying- same with Twitter and Facebook, I must add), but they bear watching. No responsible communicator should be writing these off.

*If you’d like to go slightly down the dictionary page from “jackals” for the title of this post, be my guest


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