Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
3Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
foursquare, Facebook and the Strategic Landscape of Mobile Location-Based Social Networks

foursquare, Facebook and the Strategic Landscape of Mobile Location-Based Social Networks

Ratings: (0)|Views: 346 |Likes:
Published by Alex Gordon

More info:

Published by: Alex Gordon on Aug 15, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

09/24/2013

pdf

text

original

 
 
foursquare, Facebook and the Strategic Landscape of Mobile Location-Based Social Networks
Alex GordonDeveloping Strategies for High Tech FirmsProf. Raul KatzMay 3, 2011
 
 
2
Location: The Next Frontier in Social?
Since Google acquired Dodgeball in 2005 mobile location-based social networking hasevolved quickly. Even though Dodgeball foundered as part of Google many new companiesentered the space in the years that followed; most failed to gain traction due to low consumer awareness of location-based services and minimal penetration of sophisticated smartphones.
1
 Mobile location-based social networks became more viable when Apple’s iPhone and Google’sAndroid platforms were introduced in January 2007
2
and November 2007,
3
respectively, and asthe high-speed 3G network became more widely available. These mobile platforms’ associatedapplication stores, launched in July and October 2008, respectively,
4
offered easier discovery anddownloading of user-friendly applications based on location. With the launch of foursquare (the f is intentionally lowercase) at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in March 2009, thesecond phase of mobile location-based began in earnest, as foursquare, Gowalla and, mostrecently, Facebook Places all went live. Winners in the space are beginning to emerge, with someolder players already bowing out: Brightkite, a location-based social network that was in public beta in April 2008, then acquired by mobile social network Limbo in April 2009,
5
announced inDecember 2010 that it was eliminating its check-in option to pivot towards the latest mobile trend:group messaging (though it will continue to offer location sharing).
6
 With Facebook’s entry into location-based in August 2010, the basic check-in – recording“I am here” – became commoditized,
7
and the companies still in mobile location-basednetworking are seeking to exploit multi-sided network effects by building more value for userswith hope of bringing merchants, marketers and developers to their platforms.This paper will explore the mobile location-based social networking space with a focus onthe players that, in my estimation, best embody the struggle between a multi-sided network and anested bundle as of April 2011: foursquare, the pure-play scion of Dodgeball representing thenetwork, and Facebook, the behemoth would-be enveloper.
1
As of February 2011,69.5 million people in the US owned smartphones, or 29.7% of the total mobile phone-toting population, with three platforms accounting for 87.1% of all smartphones: Google (33%), RIM (28.9%) and Apple(25.2%). comScore MobiLens. “comScore Reports February 2011 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share.April 1,2011. http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/4/comScore_Reports_February_2011_ U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share. In April 2009, smartphone penetration was only 11%. Flosi, Stephanie Lyn.“Americans Get ‘Smart’: iPhone, Android and the Accelerating Adoption of Smartphones.”
 
comScore: June 15, 2010.http://blog.comscore.com/2010/06/americans_smart_iphone.html
2
Business Insider. “iPhone.” http://www.businessinsider.com/blackboard/iphone
3
Wikipedia. “Android (Operating System). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_%28operating_system%29
 
4
Wikipedia. “List of digital distribution platforms for mobile devices.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_digital_distribution_platforms_for_mobile_devices
5
Schonfeld, Erick. “Mobile Socializing: Limbo Merges With Brightkite And Announces $9 Million Funding Round.”TechCrunch: Apr 7, 2009. http://techcrunch.com/2009/04/07/mobile-socializing-limbo-merges-with-brightkite-and-announces-9-million-funding-round/
6
eMarketer. “Beyond the Check-In.” January 2011. Pg. 4.
7
Andy Ellwood, Director of Business Development at Gowalla, noted that, “We started saying around April of [2010]that the check-in was close to being commoditized. And when Facebook Places came out, that was the final nail inthat coffin.” eMarketer, “Beyond.”
 
 
3
Mobile Social Network and Location-Based User Base
 Mobile social networking – defined as monthly use of a social network from a mobile phone, either using a web browser or application – has continued to surge in recent years.According to eMarketer, the number of US users jumped by almost a factor of five between 2008and 2010, from 8.6 million to 38.9M. eMarketer expect this number, driven by status updates of the type popularized by Facebook, to jump nearly 27% between 2010 and 2011, to a total of 49.4M users at the end of 2011, and nearly 80M users by the end of 2015 (a 22.2% compoundannual growth rate). Similarly, comScore reports that 52.7M US unique visitors accessed a socialnetwork or blog from a mobile phone during a three-month timeframe ending August 2010.(Please see charts in Exhibit 1 for more detail.
8
) Facebook noted that it had 200M “reallyfrequent” mobile users worldwide as of November 2010.
9
 Users of location-based services are a even smaller subset of this group of mobile socialnetworkers: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found in a November 2010report that only 7% of Americans who access the internet on a mobile phone use location-awarenetworks, and that, in total, 4% of online Americans access location-based networks (this latter number includes users who may access some location services, like Google Latitude, on their desktop computers). SNL Kagan found in September 2010 that the top six location-based socialnetworks at the time (Brightkite, Loopt, MyTown, foursquare, Gowalla and Whrrl
 )
had a total of 18.1 million registered users, with foursquare the fastest growing.
10
SNL Kagan’s definition of alocation-based social network is unclear because several networks not included in its coverage,including Google Latitude, report sizable audiences as well.
 
Digging further into the demographics, Pew found that 8% of adults aged 18-29 whoaccess the internet on any platform used location-based services, and that men were twice as likelyto access these services as women (6% vs. 3%). The survey also revealed that 10% of Hispanicswho use the internet accessed location services, far more than active internet users who were either  black (5%) or white (3%).
11
 In a mid-2010 report, Forrester also found that 4% of US online adults have ever used alocation-based social network, with only 1% using them weekly (please see Exhibit 3 for moredetails). However, this small group is influential, according to the research firm: they are “38%more likely than the average US online adult to say that friends and family ask their opinions before making a purchase decision.” Forrester’s findings also echo Pew’s in terms of demographics, finding that the majority of users are young adult males with advanced education:“Nearly 70% of users are between the ages of 19 and 35, and nearly 80% are male. They are also
8
eMarketer, “Beyond.”
 
9
eMarketer. “A Look at Facebook’s Foray into Location-Based Services: an interview with Emily White, Senior director of local, Facebook.” November 23, 2010. Pg. 2.
10
SNL Kagan. “A New Study from SNL Kagan “Checks In” On Mobile Location-Based Services.” October 21, 2010.http://www.prweb.com/releases/SNL-Kagan/Study/prweb4684854.htm
 
11
Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. “4% of online Americans use location-based services.” November 4, 2010. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Location-based-services.aspx. Pew’s sample size was 3,001survey respondents. Please see associated data in Exhibit 2.
 

Activity (3)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
giud6301 liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->