In two minutes

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short bursts on things I thunk.

Check it out! Foursquare knocks off Facebook.

"Missed it by that much"

The earth moved for me just a little this morning.

I’ve had my head in other stuff so I was staggered to learn that Facebook has withdrawn it’s Places services from it’s mobile application.

In a statement from Facebook it suggested people are sharing their location across all parts of the service so a dedicated feature was becoming redundant.

I have followed location-based services with interest over the past couple of years. I think sharing where you go and who you are with is one of the sharpest aspects of social media. It’s simple, it’s about discovery and socialising and if the service is up to it, it’s about leaving your digital breadcrumbs across your town and the globe. The meta layer across the globe is building and will be used in exciting ways in coming years.

I jumped into Foursquare with gusto when it arrived. It was different and the game aspects appealed. It lost it’s shine a little when others were slow to adopt it and when brands showed little interest in making use of it. “You’re the Mayor? So what.” That sort of thing. I’m tinkering with SCVNGR but that might not build to much in Australia without some wider adoption and clever work from brands.

I was actually disappointed when Facebook announced its location offering last year and more so when it announced (inevitably) that it had overtaken Foursquare in traffic volume. Facebook does mass well and stifles niche and difference where it needs to.

So big ups to Foursquare and a dedicated location service with a difference. This news signals that specialist social media services can survive and even flourish beyond the reach of Facebook. It signals we need diversity in our online diet and we have the capacity and attention to sustain a wide and deep online ecosystem.

It is a good day.

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Filed under: Social Media, Websites

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