What happened to checking in on Facebook?

By: Jack Winston

So, I was in the middle of pulling together a blog post this past week on the future of location check-ins when Facebook delivers the news that they are dropping their version of check-ins in their new version of their mobile app for smartphones.  After almost exactly one year since announcing Places, Facebook announcing they are phasing out the check-ins in favor of allowing users to tag their location to comments they make on the Facebook mobile app.  Additionally, they are rolling out changes to their privacy settings that let users more easily control who sees their location updates.  Things move fast in the world of social-location-mobile marketing.

For businesses who had been interested in driving Facebook check-ins, all this means is that instead of your customers posting:

They will post something like:

This is similar to the way twitter works today.  The challenge will be to get users to spend the extra few minutes to comment (hopefully positively) about their business.   This does not radically change the way Bozuko or other apps that leverage Facebook’s user network and business pages.  When “checking-in” using Bozuko, instead of creating a post like:

we will create a post:

Customers playing Bozuko at your business will still broadcast their interest to their friends.  One of our theories at Bozuko is that customers are more willing to engage with businesses via Facebook when 1) they are in the store and 2) you offer something valuable to them.  It is not all that surprising that Facebook felt there was insufficient usage of places to justify continue supporting on their app, because users got little value from just checking in.

So what about the apps like Foursquare, GoWalla, and Google+ still support check-ins?  Over time, Bozuko will consider supporting additional applications.  For now, we believe that the 750 Million global Facebook users and the well established infrastructure for businesses to develop Pages to connect with their customers is worth us focusing on.

Bozuko continues to roll out in the greater Boston area by invitation only.  Last week we launched at: Margaritas in Lexington, the Sea Dog Brew Pub in Woburn, and Laz Parking at 125 Summer Street.

Visit Bozuko for Business to learn more about how we are helping businesses get more out of their promotions dollar. Try to keep up with Bozuko by subscribing to our blog, following us on Twitter, and liking us on Facebook.

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