Mashable provided this great infographic and some valuable stats on why people aren’t checking in that really underscore some recent conversations I’ve had and seen about the lack of mainstream appeal for Foursquare and the zeitgeist shift from excitement around “badges” to a craving for more.
Those who use social location-based apps such as Foursquare or Facebook Places represent just 17% of the mobile population, according to a study commissioned by digital agency Beyond and exclusively shared with Mashable…More than half of mobile users who do use checkin apps (54%) said they are motivated to share their location when discounts are involved. Just 21%, however, said badges and status rewards motivated them to check in.
As for consumers not using checkin apps, 99% said they do not consider badges or status an incentive for sharing their location.
[Jennifer Van Grove for Mashable]
Time to innovate so that the way brands use location based apps offers up more than just an ethereal pixel-based medal for consumers who play along. Once the novelty fades, there needs to be more true value provided.
Users progress through a cycle of behavior when encountering a new technology. The progression in behaviors and emotions around a new app probably mirrors the bereavement cycle in some ways. Perhaps it’s something like:
1. Confusion and Skepticism:
- What is this?
- Why should I care?
- Why would I want to broadcast my info?
2. Excitement Growing:
- Oh this is cool!
- Woohoo people know where I am.
- I am enjoying this. I feel important.
- I am sharing and it’s fun.
- I want all the most esoteric badges!
3. Confidence and Competition (for some)
- I need this recognition!
- I am the mayor! I am famous! This is MY BRUNCH JOINT!
- Addiction to hyper-local ownership.
- Pride grows.
4. Burn Out and Boredom (again, only for some)
- What am I getting for this anyway? I’ll only check in if there’s something for me in it, like a discount.
- [self awarness optional] I hate reading other people’s check in’s so I don’t want to be that person.
The point here is that there’s a phased evolution that users take through the process— which renders one aspect of the segmentation of data in the above infographic a bit moot. Either way, it’s a process that many people are going through all the time so there will always be people in permanent Stage 3 excitement and that’s just fine. (I’m in stage 4!)
Did you follow this progression? What phase of use are you in? Do you think the above reflects Facebook Places and Gowalla as well?
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