Foursquare, the location-based social network, founded only 12 months ago, has secured $20 million of funding, putting its value at $95 million.
Dennis Crowley, one of Foursquare’s founders, said: “With this new round of financing, our main priority will be to expand our organization to supplement the amazing core team we’ve assembled already…We’re hoping to build a world-class engineering organization, based primarily in our headquarters in the New York City to help us develop the next generation of mobile and social and local products that will excite our users and provide unique value for local merchants.”
Which is great providing you can use the dam thing. Now I’ll confess that at first I did not “get” Twitter and it may be that I am not using the service properly, but it has really hacked me off. Sitting in a hotel room in Manchester some time ago I thought I’d give it a test run and let the world know I was “bored witless at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Manchester Airport.”
I had previously joined the service so all I had to do was fire up the Opera Mini browser on my Nokia 5800 – if only it was that simple!
I managed to reach the site okay but the first surprise was that it said I was near Poland! Now I have no idea how it reached that conclusion and as sure as heck I was not aiming to become mayor of Macdonald’s in Warsaw, so I continued a little uneasily. On the mobile interface I could add places but I could not work out how I could add where my current location was. After all I was “bored witless in a hotel at Manchester airport” so maybe someone was also bored witless and we could meet up at the bar and swap bored witless experiences.
After ten minutes I gave up trying to find out how I could input my current venue and grabbed my Greek language book to brush up on the old lingo ready for my two week trip to one of the islands at the weekend. I was full of new confidence. If I could ask the locals how I could buy an octopus a hundredweight of dolmades at the nearest bank surely I could master Foursquare.
The answer was no.
I fired up the mobile and went to the Foursquare site and this time it told me I was near South Africa. The first fatal flaw in this was that even if I was near Poland the first time I logged in, there was no way I could get to South Africa in two hours without “plane-napping” the nearest stealth bomber and they are not common at Birmingham Airport.
Again I searched for the facility to enter my current location to now avail so I killed the browser and went off to the hotel bar for a drink without anyone else who was bored witless. There must be a way to do it. I am forever getting tweets from people stating they are now the mayor of Dunkin’ Donuts in some obscure town in Tierra del Fuego but all I could do with the interface on my phone was sign app, login, see something about apps, go to the help files which weren’t very, find people, places or tags.
There is, of course, a bright side. The people who follow me on Twitter won’t be bombarded with smug messages announcing that I am quenching my thirst with a cryogenically chilled Mythos at Zorba’s bar or tucking into a plate of calamari at the Dionysis Taverna!
There is one thing to do before I go and that’s drop Mr Crowley a quick email to ask him if he can spend some of that $20million in writing an idiot’s guide to Foursquare for cretins like me!