Is the “Check-in” Dead?


Though I deal with social media daily, I’ve never "checked in" from anywhere, on any social media platform. While I think it can be a valuable tool for some businesses to network and/or offer discounts to their most loyal patrons, I haven’t found much use for it on a personal level.

And frankly, I like where I go to be my personal business … that’s between me, my favorite restaurants and poker parlors sports bars.

PR Daily offers this take on the potential death of the "check-in":

It seems people don’t want their friends and family to know where they are at all times after all.

Just when you thought the “check-in” was the latest, greatest social media trend that would never ever go away, ReadWriteWeb has declared it dead.

Let us take a moment of silence—and another moment to check in that we’ve just taken a moment of silence.

The list of less popular social check-in sites reads like the curriculum at a clown college: Gowalla, Loopt, BriteKite. Then there are the big boys: FourSquare, Facebook Places, Google, and Yelp.

Detractors have questioned why people would want to fill the ether with mundane life activities. Of course, people said the same thing about Twitter and Facebook. And numerous big brands have used the service successfully, including Zagat and Louis Viutton with Foursquare, and Onitsuka Tiger with Foursquare Places. (Here’s a collection of how other brands have used Foursquare.) The website Sprout Social also explained how smaller brands can use location-based services to compete with national ones.

But as the ReadWriteWeb article points out: Foursquare’s “Web traffic has declined for five consecutive months, amounting to a 50 percent reduction in traffic over that period.”

The number of people who have signed up for Foursquare has increased, but only 40 percent of its users are actually checking in. Perhaps the decline came about because none of us should actually want to be the “mayor” of anything.

If I’m the mayor of my local Starbucks, it only reveals that I lack variety in my life and that each day is depressingly the same. I would only hate myself if I had to think every day about the fact that I go to the same places over and over.

Good riddance, Foursquare—wherever you are.

One thought on “Is the “Check-in” Dead?

  1. Very interesting take on the death of the check-in. I personally view Foursquare as a competition between my friends. I also love the idea of businesses offering deals and it is free promotion on their end. Businesses are using it to their advantage and an interesting article can be found here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219386. What is neat is they quote local business owner, social media guru and Indiana Chamber member Scott Wise. I think if more businesses took the advice in this article they would see increased profits and Foursquare would become a little more mainstream.

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