Facebook, with the help of a guy who used to work with both Foursquare cofounders, launched an almost exact replica of the Foursquare mobile application on Tuesday night.Foursquare sent an exec to the launch and for the public, the small New York startup has played along with the whole kumbaya-let’s-everybody-hold-hands-and-not-kill-each-other game that’s so important to Silicon Valley.
But internally, people at and around Foursquare (investors, friends, employees) are a little fearful and a little angry. That’s natural, of course. A company with 500 million users and billion dollar revenues just decided to go right after them.
The good news for those of us who enjoy a industry good scrap, however, is that the people of Foursquare are not going to retreat in the face of Facebook, they are going to re-load.
The company feels like it took care of many technical scaling issues this summer and is now in position to begin rolling out new features to differentiate itself from Facebook’s very generic product.
The goal is to make Foursquare a product that does a better job than Facebook Places of keeping users in touch with their real friends – as supposed to the 700 people they know on Facebook. Foursquare will also re-focus on making its app a tool people can use to discover new places in their cities.
One new feature we heard rumours about yesterday will allow users to create badges for other users. Presumably, that means users will get to plot out little adventures for their friends across their cities. Sounds fun – and sounds like a good way to keep long-time Foursquare users engaged.
Some other features we’ve heard rumours about include:
- Photo uploading and sharing
- Separate check-ins for venue employees and customers (so the barista isn’t the mayor.)
Thing is, coming up with new feature ideas has never been a problem for Dennis Crowley and co. Cheekily, a source tells us there’s a white board in Foursquare’s office that’s “2 miles long.”
This source says, “I hope Facebook scares them into finally making some decisions.”
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