As relaunch hype subsides, will Foursquare survive?
Foursquare may be in trouble.
When Foursquare relaunched its self-titled app, the company managed to halt the long downward spiral it had seen on the app store charts since last year. But we cautioned at the time that the spike might not last. And it didn't.
Judging from app store metrics alone, Foursquare is back where it started; post-relaunch, the app peaked at #385 overall in the U.S. App Store - #448 in the Google Play store - and has since fallen to pre-launch levels: #1214 overall in the U.S. on iOS and out of the top 500 on Android, according to data from app tracking site App Annie.
Among U.S. travel apps, Foursquare peaked at #17 and now ranks #38 on iOS and dropped from #21 to #30 on Android.
Foursquare's new check-in app, Swarm, has met roughly the same fate; it currently ranks #997 overall in the U.S. App Store and is out of the top #500 in the Google Play store. At its peak, the app ranked #11 on iOS and #84 on Android. That's a frightening decline.
Without access to Foursquare's internal dashboard, it's quite difficult to understand exactly how sticky Foursquare's apps are. Google Trend data reinforces the idea that interest in Foursquare may be on the decline despite a relaunch, but this data is in no way definitive.
App Store ratings suggest users are somewhat happier with Foursquare today than they were a month ago. Prior to its relaunch, Foursquare users were furious with the upcoming changes and rated the app 1.5 stars in the App Store. The app now carries a 2.5-star rating.
What does Foursquare say?
Foursquare claims that it intended to target existing users with this initial relaunch and hints that a larger outreach plan is in the works. 'In the coming months [there will be] more consumer marketing efforts from Foursquare as we shift more of our focus to acquiring new users,' a Foursquare spokesperson told VentureBeat.
Official statistics that the company provided to VentureBeat paint a more optimistic picture. Foursquare claims its has migrated over 80 percent of its users to the new apps and that its users have added 7 million tips (i.e.: reviews of local businesses) this month. 'On our first day,' a Foursquare spokesperson told us three weeks ago, 'we had five times as many tips as our best day ever.'
Foursquare also says its users have added 40 million 'tastes,' the company's name for user-selected tags, which help fine-tune Foursquare's recommendation algorithm, since relaunch.
Foursquare has predictably kept numerous key metrics hidden, such as user-base growth, session times, daily active users, and revenue. Without that data, it's impossible to accurately predict Foursquare's fate. However, the data we have access to does not inspire a lot of confidence in Foursquare's future.
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