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Why Yahoo is Bad For Foursquare

TechCrunch posted an interesting tidbit this morning about Foursquare looking to get hitched with Yahoo.    At first, I thought this was a horrible idea.  After all, Foursquare is just starting to find its footing.

Then it hit me that shopping for a “significant other” wasn’t a bad idea.  It’s just that I wouldn’t put Yahoo on Foursquare’s dance card.

Why Yahoo is a Frog and Not a Prince

1. Yahoo ‘s Advertising Pedigree is Questionable

Yahoo’s bread and butter is peddling ever-more complex banner ads.  I never liked banner ads and they are even more irrelevant know.  With response rates hovering below those enjoyed by dinner-time telemarketers, Yahoo has seen its fortunes decline with these trash units.

The last thing that Foursquare needs is a parent that wants to splash 468×60 interruptions throughout its popular service.

2. Where’s the Hardware?

While Yahoo provides gobs of juicy real estate for advertising, it’s a no-show at the mobile hardware party.  Foursquare needs to embed its functionality in as many devices as possible.  There are others who fit the bill (more on that later)

3. Wrong Part of the Funnel

Yahoo has built its business on being to shout louder than any other content aggregator.  For big brands, the Yahoo home page is still highly sought after real estate.  But, Awareness isn’t where the magic happens for Foursquare.  I love Foursquare becomes it rewards CUSTOMERS and makes loyalty sexy again.

New Names for the Foursquare Dance Card

Unfortunately, I’m the meddling uncle that will object at the wedding.  I have a much better list of potential mates:


Yep, the Redmond Behemoth looks pretty good.  They have hardware, they have software, they are hungry for a bigger role in the mobile space.  Oh yea, they have a search engine too to monetize those Foursquare eyeballs.

By the way, Google fits the bill too…but I have a feeling that Microsoft is a tad hungrier.

Loyalty and Retention Tacticians

Foursquare should ask its VCs to fund an acquisition that solidifies it position in the loyalty and retention space.  There are a number of worthy targets, Groupon comes to mind and might be a match made in heaven.

Play Hard to Get:

Maybe the founders should wait a bit longer to cash in.  I’m finally hearing C-Level folks talk about Foursquare which means they’ve almost crossed the chasm.  Selling now be premature.  Hell, we just had Foursquare Day on April 16th – maybe this is the start of the “hockey stick” growth curve and not the middle.

What do you think?

About Stan

Stan Smith is the CEO of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

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