Foursquare traction

This post is simply a sequence of Google trends charts looking at search volume by cohort for 'Foursquare'. It's unscientific and needs to be taken with caution (you need to think carefully about exactly what consumer behaviour you're looking at). But it's interesting. 

First,  global search. Stable, perhaps, but not growing, it seems.   

But what happens if we zoom into the USA? Suddenly the picture changes - a significant reduction in consumer interest.  

And the same in the UK. 

The implication is that a decline in interest in the USA (and UK) is being offset by strong growth somewhere else. Where? The regional view (which requires several handfuls of salt) point to two of the usual suspects for mobile social services- Indonesia and Turkey

Switching to a trend line suggests that Fourquare is in fact off the boil in Indonesia but growing fast in Turkey. This chart (and the map above) is relative within each country, not across countries - 4SQ has a larger share of Turkish search than of US search, but Turkish search volume for 4SQ is not necessarily higher than in the USA. 

If we switch to Turkey and add Whatsapp for scale, we see that 4SQ looks like it's getting real traction in that market. But of course it grew fast in Indonesia too...

Google Trends does not let us compare volume directly across countries. But a search by platform is suggestive. Look what platform it shows as most popular for 4SQ - the one that dominated in Indonesia, not the USA. 

All of this leads to the question - where, exactly, are Foursquare's users? And what are they worth? Google Trend lets us see a decline in interest in the USA, and a rise in Turkey, but we can't really see where the overall interest lies.