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Foursquare bets on Windows 8 despite low traction

Foursquare recently launched a new application for Windows 8 desktops and tablets, playing to the unique interface of Windows.

After launching an app for Windows 8 phones this past May, foursquare decided to roll out an app for tablets and desktop. Since the vast majority of apps seem to be developing only for Apple and Android devices, it is interesting that foursquare has decided to invest in Microsoft?s platforms.

?Bringing Foursquare app to Windows 8-based smartphones, at least in theory, should increase overall number of Foursquare app users,? said Cezar Kolodziej, CEO/president of Iris Mobile, Chicago.

Mr. Kolodziej is not affiliated with Foursquare. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Foursquare did not respond to press inquiries.

Windows app
The Windows version of foursquare?s app uses the Metro interface, live tiles and global search to create a unique experience for Microsoft users.

Since Apple and Google still seem to have a far lead over Microsoft in the app world, foursquare?s Windows app is a great move for Microsoft and could possibly signify that other app developers will follow. This change probably will not happen any time soon, since Microsoft has a ways to go to catch up with Apple and Google, but nonetheless, this launch is a big deal for the company.

According to Mr. Kolodziej, Windows 8 phones make up less than 1.5  percent of the market in the United States.

As opposed to its mobile apps, foursquare?s tablet apps are meant to let consumers spend more time browsing as opposed to the basic check-in.

Additionally, the Windows 8 app removes the foursquare newsfeed since the company decided it was not integral to the app.

The foursquare app for Windows 8 phones

Mobile check-ins
As foursquare moves beyond the basic check-in, it has expanded its mobile efforts and experimented with new tactics.

For example, the company recently rolled out a new ad format to separate itself from competitors (see story).

Foursquare also updated its apps in May to give consumers more specific ways to filter their searches for nearby stores and restaurants (see story).

Most recently, companies such as JCPenney and T-Mobile have begun offering deals and discounts for foursquare check-ins (see story).

Yet, according to Mr. Kolodziej, the expansion to Windows 8 is not that significant of a move.

?Clearly, Apple and Android are two main smartphone platforms among all smartphone users today,? Mr. Kolodziej said. ?I don't think this will change significantly in the near future.

?To have the right perspective, there are still significantly more customers with low-end feature phones than Windows and BlackBerry phones combined,? he said. ?With the upcoming changes announced this week at Microsoft and with the struggles of Nokia, there is not a strong outlook for the continued growth of Windows Phone looking forward.

?To really address market need, marketers should adopt the mobile strategy in which no customer mobile phone is left behind, and I personally see this as a more urgent challenge to address. I don't think that the new version of Foursquare app for Windows 8 phones will even move the mark.?

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York