Back in August Facebook launched its Places feature with quite a bit of fanfare. They were so excited about it they even invited the two location based leaders, Foursquare and Gowalla, to join them on stage during their announcement. Both companies were excited about using Facebook’s new Places API and all seemed warm and fuzzy in the location based services game.
All of that may have just changed dramatically with Facebook’s announcement that it’s adding Deals to its own Places feature. This certainly seems like a direct attempt to take a big (quite possibly huge) chunk out of the progress Foursquare has made. Adding deals to their check-ins helped Foursquare growth increase dramatically. Now it seems if Facebook is able to leverage it’s half a billion users to woo retailers, possibly with exclusive deals, they could, potentially, deliver a huge blow to Foursquare and Gowalla.
According to the official Facebook Places page you can, “Check in to get individual discounts, share savings with friends, earn rewards for repeat visits or secure donations for good causes.”
I think many people that use Foursquare regularly probably consider themselves early adopters and may not be going anywhere, geek loyalty can be strong. Personally I’m an avid Foursquare user and don’t see that changing anytime soon barring some dramatic shift in one or the other of these services.
What about you? Do you use Foursquare or Gowalla to share your location? Do you think Facebook Places adding Deals will lure you away from your current LBS app of choice? Let us know what you think in the comments.