A couple months ago, I wondered aloud whether Facebook Places would kill Foursquare. The main problem presented to Foursquare, I argued, was “keeping people interested if they can check-in on Facebook.” In other words, why would people check in on Foursquare if they could do that and so much more on Facebook?
The answer for the past few months has been that there was really no incentive to check-in on Places other than to let your Facebook friends know your location and identify the people with you. Unlike Foursquare, Facebook Places offered no “badges” or other gaming aspect, and there was no incentive from Facebook or retailers to check in.
That all changed yesterday, as CNET reported:
“Facebook…launched a big new suite of mobile features that includes…enhancements to Facebook Places that let businesses easily automate ‘deals’ for when users check in…Like Foursquare, Facebook’s new deals product lets businesses draw in customers by offering a deal or discount to those who “check in,” and those deals can be created by any business, small or large, through a self-service tool.”
My take is that this is a true death knell for Foursquare, and it’s also the thing most likely to make checking in as common as posting a status update. If you disagree, check in in the comments and put me in my place.