April 9, 2012

Facebook's Acquisition of Instagram: Bad News for Foursquare

Today's big news in the tech / social media space is Facebook's acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion. What are the implications on foursquare?

From a consumer's perspective, if you are an avid fan of foursquare and Instagram, this may be bad news to you. Instagram currently uses foursquare's API for geotagging. Checking in to foursquare via Instagram is very seamless. What if Instagram switches to using Facebook's place data instead? Will they continue to support posting to foursquare? Facebook and foursquare's database is completely different, so I don't see a way to check in to both effectively. I predict that Instagram will switch to geotagging via Facebook Places. That means posting Instagram photos onto foursquare will become a multistep process.

Foursquare itself would most likely be negatively impacted in the long run. I don't know of a bigger app than Instagram that uses the foursquare API. I can see usage of foursquare go down because of this. Good news for Facebook - they are competitors after all.

What do you think of this acquisition? We know it's a huge win for Facebook since all that data generated by Instagram users is a goldmine, but what will happen to Instagram and foursquare? I'm very interested to see how this plays out.


  1. I hate it, but you and I both know that I hate a lot of things Facebook. Then again, I never cared much about Instagram either, so it's no skin off my back. And I think that Foursquare, at least from what I use it for, is starting to become less and less useful, much to my chagrin. So, yes, I agree with your assessment!

  2. Yea I can't help but feel sad about this acquisition. I understand why they did it.

    I still find foursquare quite useful. I use it instead of Yelp, I find I don't have much time to read lengthy reviews on Yelp but on Foursquare I often find quick tips for restaurants. I like how they added the menu feature on Foursquare too. Once in a while (although rare) I do do a Google Calendar search to see how often I fill up for gas, when I last went to a certain restaurant etc.

  3. I hope they keep both. From a developer perspective, keeping both APIs active shouldn't be too tough, especially when the 4sq one is maintained already. Path pulls their data from a couple different sources, so Instagram certainly could do that. The problem as you've stated, of course, is if FB is going to care.

    *fingers crossed*

  4. You're right about Path pulling data from multiple sources. But still I don't think it's looking too good for foursquare now that it's tied to Facebook. Facebook and foursquare aren't necessarily friends. (: