In my spare time, I like to check out sites like inbound.org to see what people in my industry are talking about. This led me to a conversation about Foursquare. Does anyone actually still use this app?

The question was simple, but as people commented about how long they held out and how they finally deleted the app off of their phones, it got me thinking. Is it really necessary to have location-based apps when so many other apps already integrate location into the user experience?

I was never a big fan of Foursquare or apps like Swarm, but it is interesting to think about how these pioneers in location-based social media paved the way for the integrated location services of today.

Check In on Facebook

Facebook has always offered some sort of location aspect to social profiles. Your hometown, current town and college have been part of Facebook’s profile information since the beginning, but along the line something changed. We stopped using Facebook at our desks on our early 2000’s Windows computer, and started using the app on our mobile devices. This shift brought an entire new dynamic to the platform, movement. Now Facebook integrates location into many functions of the app. You can check in and tag photos, share your location and find out what people are doing near you. Facebook is even talking about integrating with Uber so you can use your location and order a cab without ever leaving the app.

Tagging Location on Instagram

Instagram was born on mobile and rose in popularity as a phone app, so it’s no surprise it has a location aspect for the same reason Facebook does. For marketers this location driven information is powerful, but it also allows the consumers to see more relevant and proximally relevant advertising. Tagging location is part of the overall social component of Instagram as well. As a visual platform, sharing where you are is a central part of the sharing experience.

Google Location Awareness

Google knows all, and we all know it. But location-driven services have kind of made other location apps irrelevant. If I want to see what restaurants are near me, I’m going to Google and as for ratings, I trust Google reviews as much as other services like Yelp or Urban Spoon. Google can do it all and the location awareness has eliminated my need for multiple apps to tell me where things are. Even using Siri as a replacement for location-based apps has changed the way I find what I’m looking for.

So what’s next? Specific ads based on your location? Yeah, that’s pretty much already standard. Location plays a huge part in our user-experiences and helps brands market to the right people at the right times. To me, it’s a little unnerving to be driving and have Waze tempt me with Chick-fil-a less than 2 miles away but if we’re being honest I’m never THAT upset about being given the option.

Social Media Trends

If small businesses aren’t using Foursquare anymore what are they using? We were curious so we asked 245 small business owners about that and much more in our annual social media survey. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s your chance.