Foursquare vs. Facebook Places: Is It a Competition?

By Carrie Tylawsky With all of the Facebook changes rolling out, one of my absolute favorites is highlighting my profile map. I envisioned seeing my map criss-cross across the country and up and down the coast. Instead I saw...this. Although my Foursquare is connected to my Facebook, my Facebook is not connected to my Foursquare, thus creating this sad little parcel of check-ins that were not even done by me, but rather by a friend that uses Facebook Places. This got me wondering- with the new advantages of seeing your location mapped out, will Facebook Places take over Foursquare? For some reason, I just don't think so- here's why.

1. Privacy. Almost everyone I know on Foursquare likes how private you can keep your check-ins. You only share where you check-in with people that you accept as friends, and it's no faux pas to deny someone you don't know that well. So far, Foursquare just doesn't have that same feeling of, "Oh my god! He defriended me!". On the other hand, checking in on Facebook Places means advertising your location to all of your hundreds of friends and Facebook stalkers. Until Foursquare gains that same breadth of friend acceptance, I think it will hold the torch as far as check-ins go.

2. Gaming. Sure, I love my check-in specials and tips, but what I really love is beating my super competitive friends on the leaderboard. Foursquare has managed to keep the gaming element alive, despite becoming a social platform for brands and fans alike. There is still something immensely satisfying in earning a new badge or seeing your 230 point score. Facebook Places feels much more like an ongoing scrapbook project that I'll aimlessly fill in while watching tv rather than get amped for.

3. Multiple social networks. The same way you treat your Facebook friends differently than your Twitter followers, there are some check-ins you would rather share as a tweet than a status update. Personally, when I check-in somewhere I'm particularly excited for, I like to leave a comment and tweet it out. This way, people can reply and chat with me, but I'm not spamming my newsfeed. As an avid Foursquare-er, I would never post all my check-ins on Facebook for fear of being called out!

What do you think? Will the new Facebook Timeline help Facebook Places beat out Foursquare?