Why I Switched from Foursquare to Facebook Places for Check Ins


To begin with this is not a post about the merits of sharing your location via social media – it is just a short discussion on how I do it and why I made a change from one resource to another.

One of the features of social media activities that involve checking in to your current location is to share with friends where you are.  The ultimate goal of a check in is so that those friends that are nearby can join you or vice versa.  However, how often does that really happen?  I am sure it does happen on a fairly good scale and if that is the case then either of these two tools, Facebook Places or Foursquare, can help you coordinate those visits.

For me I use the check in to let family and friends know where I am and what I am up to.  I started out using Foursquare to do this because it is considered the leading check in tool.  For my use I was only sharing those check ins with Facebook.  I have Facebook locked down hard so that only my allowed friends can see these check ins.

I was noticing an inconsistency between check ins using Foursquare and whether they would ever get listed on Facebook.  In fact, I would say the percentage of check ins that made it from Foursquare to Facebook was less than 60%.  Not very reliable at all.

It was then that I decided to check out Facebook Places and see if I could take out the middle man, Foursquare, and get some more reliability for those check ins. 

With the integration of Facebook in Windows Phone 7 I no longer need a third party app to do check ins – I just use the built in functionality and now have 100% reliability when it comes to sharing my location.

In fact, it is so reliable that it provided some levity for my family and friends just last night.

A short story about fingers that tap too fast!  Last night after dinner my wife and I went to do some shopping and so I fired up my LG Quantum with the intent of checking into Walmart.  well as the list of places to check in slid by on my phone I tapped down as Walmart crossed the screen and accidentally tapped Fleming Island North Florida OBGYN!  Of course family and friends immediately started a commentary on this unusual check in.  Lesson learned – let the screen stop scrolling BEFORE you tap!

I was really hoping that would have been a check in that did not make it to Facebook!

5 thoughts on “Why I Switched from Foursquare to Facebook Places for Check Ins

  1. I just wish I could figure out how to use Facebook Places on my LG Quantum. I have my location turned on but I still can’t create a new place or even check-in. Any help?

    • You will need the Official Facebook App – the integration with Windows Phone 7 will come out when the Mango update is available on your carrier this fall.

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  3. I agree that Foursquare has its pros – I just had a very inconsistent experience with the check ins that I wanted posted making it to my Facebook wall. Facebook Places also allows me to be off grid – I just simply do not check in in that case.

    I am glad to see that it is working well for you and ultimately I believe that we all make technology choices that work best for us. Many thanks for sharing a perspective for everyone to see.

  4. I disagree. All of my Foursquare check-ins can be shared on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, I can use Foursquare to keep a log of every place (whether it’s the mall, a bar, gas station, or deli) I check-in to without constantly bombarding the Facebook newsfeed. Sometimes I just want to keep track of where I’m going without sharing it with Facebook friends. I can even go off the grid on Foursquare so no one knows where I am but me. I admire both services, but Foursquare not only offers the complete check-in history, it offers rewards in the form of mayorships and badges as well as offers from participating businesses. It makes the whole thing more enjoyable.