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Why Checking-In is So Addictive

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An evaluation of the persuasion Foursquare uses in order to get new users to create a habit of opening the Foursquare iPhone app.

An evaluation of the persuasion Foursquare uses in order to get new users to create a habit of opening the Foursquare iPhone app.

Published in: Technology

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  • First, thank you for your comments on my presentation from earlier this year. It's amazing how much things have changed since that very simple new user explanation.

    Next, this required some heavy duty thinking and the result is impressive. A listener of my Lexy.com show (www.lexy.com) as Flair Minute just left a comment asking why someone would want to use a LBS maybe you'd like to jump on and offer some insight based on your analysis. Your comments would be welcome.

    How do you think this compares with the new FB Places? Same? Different? I'm thinking there's some added layers due to the deeper level of engagement and connectedness on FB.
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  • @Ross - yes it would seem sharing info would be a motivator. Let's let Max explain how this fits (or doesn't) in his analysis.
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  • Good stuff, but wouldn't a key motivator for user be to share her location with her friends?
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  • I'm so glad you picked this topic!

    Slide 7 is a real gem . Yes, the whole set is good, but I think Slide 7 is the big moment, giving insight about 4sq as well as human habits. Nice work!

    On Slide 6, I paused to think. I like how you've mapped it, and especially you calling out the PurpleSpan, which is the energizer here. Your clear visual makes me want to look for the same pattern elsewhere, which was *precisely* the point of this short project.

    Good job!
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  • Great analysis - also fantastic use of bj's model for foursquare. can you share it with folks, and get their responses? how about tristan walker at the gsb - he runs biz dev - maybe interesting to him?
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  • 1. Why Checking-In is So Addictive
    by Max Zamkow
    habits.stanford.edu
  • 2. Lets Examine…
    How Foursquare gets new users to repeatedly open their app
    We’ll look at the process by which a first time user is persuaded to open the app a second time…
  • 3. User finds out about Foursquare
    User connects friends to their Foursquare profile
    User gets push notification from friend
    User visits the AppStore and downloads app
    User sees badges and points
    User wants more badges and points
    User opens app again
    User opens Foursquare for the first time
    User checks in
    User must open app later to achieve their goal
    User gets a badge and/or points
    User sees someone else as mayor of somewhere important to them
    User wants to be mayor
  • 4. Now let’s look at the different types of behaviors that the new user goes through.
    For this we’ll classify each behavior into one of the 15 behaviors in the Fogg Behavior Grid
    (see http://behaviorgrid.org)
    Legend:
    Legend:
    - Green Behavior
    - Blue Behavior
    - Spot Behavior
    - Purple Behavior
    - Span Behavior
    - Action (not a behavior)
    - Path Behavior
  • 5. User finds out about Foursquare
    User connects friends to their Foursquare profile
    User gets push notification from a friend
    User visits the AppStore and downloads app
    User sees badges and points
    User wants more badges and points
    User opens app again
    User opens Foursquare for the first time
    User checks in
    User must open app later to achieve their goal
    User gets a badge and/or points
    User sees someone else as mayor of somewhere important to them
    User wants to be mayor
  • 6. So the Route to the User Opening the App again is (on average)…
    This is the key, motivating the first time user to want more
  • 7. Looking just at the behaviors that influence the user to return to the app…
    User gets a push notification from a friend
    Cue
    User wants to become a mayor
    User opens app
    User wants a new badge / more points
    User checks in daily
    Cycle
  • 8. Synopsis
    Foursquare’s trick is to influence new users to create purple span behaviors which then lead to the blue path cycle behavior of opening the app often.
    Additionally they utilize blue spot cue behaviors to further increase the frequency of users opening the app, re-presenting them with the purple span behaviors which, as above, lead to the creation of the blue path cycle behavior.