This last week, Foursquare made some updates to their website. If you went to Foursquare a couple months ago, you got a very generic page of text that didn’t really help much. You were off the site and on the mobile phone, but even the mobile phone had limitations.
Things have finally changed.
The new Foursquare website is pretty useful. It can tell you where you’ve been, what your tips are and even what badges you earned. There is even a pie chart for when you use the device.
The location aware service needed this addition, especially since Facebook and Twitter are creating location – based social networking applications that can be accessed from a computer. Mayorships and Badges only go so far. If vendors see that no one is checking in on Foursquare, they are not going to create a partnership.
There are many programs that develop the application first, then either have a limited website or no website at all. I understand that if you are building the mobile program, a website is 2nd on the list. However, having more than a “get the app” link on the site can really sell the product.
Most important: Not everyone wants to use the mobile version all the time. Give me another outlet.
In the case of Foursquare, it’s nice to be able to look at my check-ins and tips right from the notebook. I can add tips, too. Therefore, I can add a tip to a location, then when I check-in, the program reminds me of that tip.
It’s understandable that a program wants you to use their mobile application. However, a good website can give people an idea of what they get so they become convinced to download the application.
Finally, keep in mind that an application does not have the SEO for Google or Bing to catalog. A minimal content website might mean that another page can take over your Search results.
As a content provider, I like to put website first. It’s understood that an app storefront might need more attention than a website storefront, yet the majority of people – especially those who just got a smartphone – know websites over mobile stores.
In the meantime, check out the stats engine and leave yourself a couple tips on Foursquare over at the website.