Saturday, March 20, 2010

Brightkite vs Foursquare

I've been using Brightkite since it was in closed Beta.
At the time, it was exactly what I was looking for.
I traveled a lot for work, and I enjoyed being able to look at the little map of pushpins.

It was fun.

But it never really caught on.
I had some friends on there (and made some friends on there), but not a whole lot.

And then came Foursquare.
They took the same idea, but they turned it into a game.

While Foursquare isn't more popular with my friends, I get to play with complete strangers. People I don't know oust me as Mayor. I oust them.

I get to earn points.
As far as I can tell, they're worthless, but I earned them.

I can recommend things, like "try the ribs".

It makes using Brightkite kind of boring.

The one feature that Brightkite has over Foursquare is the ability to comment at a place after check-in.

If I show up at a restaurant, I don't know what I'm going to have or how long the wait is.

Brightkite lets me post countless times at a location.
Foursquare let's me comment with my check-in.
All other comments are in my stream, but not specifically at that place.

So what do I do? I bypass Foursquare for those follow up comments and send them directly through Twitter.

There's also no native notifications.

Brightkite let's me subscribe to my friends via e-mail and SMS. I also get notofied of comments.

Foursquare let's me get my friends check-ins via Direct Message in Twitter.
And as far as I can tell, there's no way to comment on a post.

So Brightkite has the features, but Foursquare has the sparkles.

If Brightkite wants to compete in this expanding market, it's going to need to get some bling.

(Gowalla just frustrates me.)

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