The German collectors – reasoning why Germany will be Gowalla territory, not Foursquare

Will Europeans use Gowalla or Foursquare, asks Techcrunch Europe. With the amount of articles and podcasts I have done on Gowalla, e.g. this German piece, I don’t want to become ‘the Gowalla’ guy, but I think I can venture a guess and argue for Germany being Gowalla prone.

#1: We (ze German’s) actually prefer the GPS-requirement built-into Gowalla. Not only does it make adding new places super easy, it also gives us structure, exactness. We like the categories, too. All neat and clean. Hi-tech for the country (once) known for hi-tech. The exactness of the GPS relates to the punctuality our train system is known for (which everybody outside of Germany is in awe of while the we only complain).

#2: Foursquare is for hunters, Gowalla for collectors. Gowalla, while a social game, feels more about me. I could play this by myself, collecting item after item, droppping the inflationary Alamofires and blenders. Foursquare is more about adding new places, outhustling the other players. To oversimplify, I can be good at Gowalla despite not going out that often at night. I could even go further and blame this behaviour on our role in WW2 and argue that in the aftermath our role in history is being the passive, polite bystander, not the hunter.

I for myself am definitely the collector, not the hunter. Following the opening of the German Foursquare gates on November 20th there was a rush of new friends and I am often double-checking-in with both apps still. And yes, from a marketer’s perspective as of now it seems more easy to get in touch with the people at Foursquare to get something going. But I am already seeing boundaries being broken, people asking to follow my moves I have never heard of or been friends on Twitter for a week. I am not sure that that is what I want. And I like the eye-candy that is Gowalla and the excitement to steal the Beatnik Poet my wife left at the book store…

And there I am almost betting Mike Butcher that a year from now Germany will be Gowalla country, if…
Well there is the ‘reach’-question. Can Gowalla succeed, with only the iPhone as mobile device at the moment?

Hell, sure. Go, Gowalla 😉

Update: It seems that I wasn’t the only one writing about this last night. Martin seems undecided on who will win in Europe, while Gerald has an in-depth look at Foursquare and his first week playing with it hardcore (a great read).

  • i musitdisagree from experience. i have both accounts, but far more friends in foursquare.

    i admit foursquare being also the one i use (having an android phone only … ), may bias my pov.

  • Sebastian

    Originally, i had a paragraph included how the Berlin cloud seems to be much more into foursquare than gowalla. However, i think that is due to berlin being even ahead of the early adopters, being able to attract bigger small masses. Looking at Germany as a whole, i think gowalla is the better fit.

  • i see. well, yes, berlin was the first city in private beta in germany, afair – and they already do have partner venues in the city.

  • Thanks for the trackback. Personally I think Foursquare will win or will enventually be the model which succeeds. I think the Gowalla concept will be boring after a while, as Foursquare’s competitive character will make us check in for a longer time. But maybe it’s because I would consider myself as a hunter. 😉

  • Hard to argues with that. Anyway, only time will tell.

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