Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley is speaking on stage with Kara Swisher at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference, and he just admitted that Foursquare’s basic idea of checking into locations is going to become a commodity.
The question came up in the context of Facebook Places, a similar location-based service introduced earlier this year. Crowley said he wasn’t worried about it because “check-in isn’t interestnig; what’s interesting is what happens after you check in.”
It’s not clear that Foursquare has any long-term advantage in this space, then. The “game mechanics” of Foursquare–earning badges, mayorships, and so on–will only appeal to a subset of users. Swisher suggested that Foursquare needs to do way more deals with retailers where customers actually get stuff, and also said that automatic check ins would be helpful. Crowley said the company is working on both things.
He also admitted that Foursquare isn’t profitable yet, but is focused on growing users and revenue first.
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