Facebook Foray into Geo-Location Not a Slam Dunk

by Ron on August 18, 2010

Lolo, Where Are You?
Image by Dr Case via Flickr

Facebook is expected to join the geo-location game today, at least according to many published reports including this one from Kara Swisher on the All Things Digital Blog. Swisher and just about everyone else I’ve seen write about this subject believes it should effectively mark the beginning of the end for established geo-location services like Foursquare and Gowalla.

Conventional thinking goes if Facebook is doing it, it will basically muscle out any competition and it makes sense, right? Facebook is big and has hundreds of millions of users, so why not use the Facebook tool if it’s there. But conventional wisdom doesn’t always hold.

The same could be said for Google‘s foray into social media, which so far has not been a dazzling success or how about Microsoft‘s adventures in mobile where the market share numbers seem to be rolling backward instead of forward.

Every time an established player makes a play for a piece of an existing service, it doesn’t guarantee they will do it well or that people won’t simply prefer the established services over the new offering. It may come to pass that Facebook annihilates Foursquare and Gowalla and they both go away or get absorbed by other larger services like Facebook, but just because Facebook gets into the game doesn’t make them the automatic winner, not by a long shot.

Cross-posted on ‘by Ron Miller’ Blog.

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