To be honest before I started reading M3 I believed Foursquare and QR Codes to be a complete waste of flyer space when designing posters for work. I have had countless debates with friends and co – workers about how “in the past” QR Codes are, how no one ever uses foursquare but after reading lets see if my mind has been changed.
Yup that is Foursquare’s logo, not the lid of a pizza dipping sauce.
Anyways, I had the chance to finally explore the Location Base Service (LBS) website/app over the past week. In the past (2012 maybe) I would receive notifications of old friends checking into places and it didn’t interest me, DELETE. Now in 2014 I was typing in different areas of the city and using the activity search bar to scan through the restaurants, read reviews, see the location on a map and 2nd most important to me is seeing people’s pictures of the place (picturing sharing aka Instagram will take over the future,* EVIL LAUGH*). While scanning my options I was reading reviews, why? Because it shows the date when comments were made. I was noticing not a lot of current updates, comments from 2010, 2011 and 2012. I figured maybe it was the places I was searching since I can have a niche taste. So I decided to search the Air Canada Centre, a pretty popular place right? Apparently not since 2009? Yup, that was the last comment made by a regular individual.
Who is posting on behalf of Madonna, the NHL, WWE, Maple Leafs, ESPN and the National Post? These of course are the most recent posts on the Air Canada Centre page. So I can see how Public Relations used Foursquare along with promoting coupons, special give aways and things to engage users. I went to a FourSquare party and got a free beer if I signed up and then I never engaged again. To me Foursquare is like YELP minus the LBS which I guess is a big part of the draw but still similar. On Foursquare you see all the same content in terms of reviews, pictures and users rate of the establishment which I think is cool. But what makes that different from using BlogTo in searching for something to do in a specific area of Toronto or even Google? LBS!
Overall I think Foursquare could use some work on there brand and marketing. Yes, the dipping sauce logo is all over establishments windows but know one wants to use it because it seems creepy and kind of lame. But really it’s not lame (kind of creepy), you can use it all over the world and it connects to your Facebook and Twitter if you want to share with your friends or followers where you are or what cool little coffee shop just opened up! But then again you can do the same with your Facebook or Twitter minus the Foursquuare community’s reviews, photos and the business perks.
2nd overall, I think it can work and can be a great tool for public relations once changes have been made and if it gets integrated with Augmented Reality .
Example A. This not so interesting video
Example B. Creepy LBS
Up next on the chopping block is the QR CODE!
Okay here we go. While reading different articles I have come to the same conclusion every time. QR Codes have a bad rep because they are being used in all the wrong ways.
This is what they are suppose to do, direct you to a mobile friendly site to watch a video, go to a website or review a product.
What I am still trying to figure out is what makes this different then searching on an app or just searching the item in the web browser? One example I saw is on a Best Buy product. The main goal is to scan then read the specs. But if I am in the store already why would I scan vs asking a sales person? But wait, I don’t have a scanner app and I don’t want to use my 3G to download it! Then what? My world is OVER!
Okay let’s back track just a little. When I had a blackberry I would scan others QR Codes to get their contact information and BAM it was easy. The phone had a scanner for that purpose and it worked great. If all phones could do this then I truly believe QR Codes would of had a different journey. Having to scan QR Codes on the go was a mission because it wasn’t fast or didn’t work. So now most smart phones come without a scanner but do you really need one? After reading 5 articles I see the most common mistakes such as placing QR Codes in the most strangest places such as subways, on busses and foods. To top it off when you try to scan the ones in reachable places they go no where! “Error Found” yea, thanks. Now I don’t care what your event is all about because I am annoyed. Most people I know just take a photo of something they want to look up later or want to buy the next time they are at the store.
This is why I am excited about mobile visual search (MVS)!
Using MVS while shopping in a store might be a little problematic since most retail outlets deny you of taking any photos in stores but just think how easy it will be while you are on the go. Taking a photo underground and saved for a better time to connect to the web. Just think of the fun a public relations and marketing team can have with this. Creating special soup labels for an example and having shoppers snap a photo and direct the buyer to a recipe that they can share with there Instagram followers!
I do believe QR Codes were off to a good start and are now becoming a fab with new technology such as MVS making waves in the scene.