Goodbye Foursquare and Gowalla

Written by X Jansen,
June 2010

A couple of months ago I started trying Foursquare and Gowalla: two geolocation services that let you easily update your current GPS location (if you have a GPS/location aware device like an iPod/iPhone or Android phone). I used the apps from both services on my iPod and my Android phone. At first it was quite fun. Foursquare lets you earn points for checking in, you can become 'Major' when you're the one checking in somewhere the most often and earn badges when you check-in at special places or with a amount of people at the same time. Gowalla sometimes gives you goodies when you check-in, you can collect them or drop them at another place for others to find. So this 'game' component was fun for some time, but after you have earned some badges, became the Major of some places and have gathered several goodies, the fun went away pretty quickly and I stopped using the services altogether. In my case, the thing that it should be about (meeting, finding and sharing with friends, a.k.a.: the social stuff) didn't happen. The thing with social networks is that they only work when there are enough people/friends on it. Guess I'm a bit of an early adopter and because the services aren't big enough in The Netherlands (at the moment) to have enough friends to make this work. I can see how these kind of services could be fun and social together, but for now: goodbye to Foursquare and Gowalla. Maybe see you again somewhere in the future. PS: It amazed me how many friend request I got from people I have never heard of. No I'm not going to be friends with you if I've not even met you and definitely not going to share my location with you.

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