The Implications Behind the Foursquare Facts

Last night Dennis Crowley, co-founder of foursquare, told me that foursquare’s membership is now 1.7 million and growing at 100,000 per week.  He also mentioned that the game/service receives one million check-ins per day.

Pretty cool stats, and they got me to noodling…

…if 1.7 million people are checking in 1 million times, that suggests that on a given day at least 700,000 registered users are not checking in at all.

A colleague at a digital agency recently told me that the agency “required” everyone there to check in on foursquare day back in April. So… if all those people signed up in order to check in on that day, the question presents itself – how many actually used it on April 17th and thereafter?

If we speculate that there is a vanguard of 10-20% of users who are doing most of the checking-in, it seems that between 170,000 and 340,000 people are checking in 3-6 times a day.

So, the excitement is there – lots of buzz & photo opps for Dennis. The awareness is growing – Starbucks!, but usage may not be keeping up with adoption – or, to put it another way, adoption is not keeping up with registration.

There is surely a population of users who check-in only when they have something interesting that they want to announce.

There is a second foursquare topic that has crossed my mind since Dennis’ Bartiromo interview and his talk last night. With respect to privacy, foursquare points out that your check-ins, i.e., announcements of where you are, go out only to your friends and/or facebook friends and/or twitter followers, i.e., it is your choice how private or public you want to be. In fact, you may choose not to issue a notification at all.

But here’s the rub… when I check into a venue, I can see everyone else who has checked in there – whether or not I know them at all. I can also see where they hold mayorships and what badges they have. Hmmm…

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