Foursquare growth rates for Australia and New Zealand

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Foursquare is one of the social networks we have used a lot in New Zealand and Australian. I see people checking in all the time on Foursquare, especially through Twitter. So I have been; like others, eagerly awaiting some up-to-date usage data. Foursquare boasts 20 million users and more than 2 billion checkins. I clocked up more than 1,000 checkins in NZ, AU and the USA before deleting my profile more than a year ago.

Finally I have been sent some data from Foursquare's PR team.

Over the last 24 months

Australia: Users: Over 350% increase Check-ins: Over 125% increase

New Zealand: Users: Nearly 600% increase Check-ins: Nearly 300% increase

While these % increases are large, I'm not particularly surprised, and neither convinced that they mean anything significant.

I wonder if there is a correlation between Foursquare usage and the increase in Twitter use in New Zealand...to some degree perhaps. These stats [from Foursquare] add little value to the conversation, given 2 years ago hardly anyone even knew about Foursquare.

UPDATED 29 August: I have received these stats on which locations are the most popular to check into in Australia and New Zealand - I guess no surprises here either

Top 10 categories in Australia:
  1. Cafes
  2. Train Stations
  3. Malls
  4. Offices
  5. Grocery Stores
  6. Coffee Shops
  7. Bars & Pubs
  8. Parks/Outdoor Areas
  9. Gyms
  10. Hotels
Top 10 categories in New Zealand:
  1. Cafes
  2. Offices
  3. Grocery Stores
  4. Parks/Outdoor Areas
  5. Malls
  6. Bars
  7. Gyms
  8. Coffee Shops
  9. Airports
  10. Train Stations

I think the Facebook checkin feature has been gaining momentum in New Zealand and Australian, while we have no public data from Facebook, many brand pages are tapping into location based features and we're certainly seeing an increase in activity.

Burger Fuel have used Foursquare checkin's well over the last year or so, probably significantly contributing to the Foursquare activity in NZ. Mojo Coffee in Wellington used Foursquare as their IRL Coffee Card to great effect, and the diehards might remember the Mayor Parties that used to get held in Cities around the world.

So it appears the gamification of social engagement; Foursquare style has probably had as much impact as QR codes did. The market wasn't ready or right for it and any hype it did get was short-lived and uncapitalised on.

If more businesses had actively utilised Foursquare; the up-take in New Zealand especially could have been significantly more valuable. And now with reviews and added features the investment for local businesses would have been paying off.

So look out for offers, more checkins and smarter local promotions from businesses through Facebook as it seems that has the most potential in this smaller market.

Lastly if you are a Foursquare fan here are an app you might have fun with:

http://www.4sqmap.com/

Oh an please stop checking in to your home, especially when you checkin to work 30 minutes later.

If you like checking in but want a change of scene take a look at:

Path

Foodspotter

Do you frequently checkin with Foursquare in New Zealand or Australia? What are your favourite places to check in too?