No, foursquare will not be the next Facebook.

Here we go again. Marketers have decided that foursquare is the next big thing. Some have even said that foursquare is the next Facebook. What we have here is a case of Marketer Over Hype or MOH (I apologize for not having a more clever acronym). So before you get sucked in to the hype vortex, wasting time on foursquare in place of better options, here’s why foursquare will not be the next Facebook.

1. We already have a Facebook. – News Flash! A kagillion people are already on Facebook and mostly like it. They’re not searching for the next Facebook. But what about the geo-location abilities of foursquare? Facebook will be adding geo-location services, you can bet on it. They adopted a Twitter-like update stream when it became apparent that’s what everyone wanted.

2. foursquare is a one trick pony. – You check in on your smart phone and earn badges and mayorships. It’s a game and it will get old quickly. Sure, you can see where your friends are and “Shout” a Twitter-like update, but we already have Facebook and Twitter for that.

3. Marketing Tactics for foursquare lack imagination. – The most popular marketing advice seems to be to offer discount coupons and free stuff to people who come to your business. Not just for foursquare, but Facebook too. It’s not a good marketing strategy to give away your product and offer discounts to attract customers. There are other, more meaningful ways to reward and attract customers than a discount program. If foursquare is going to have any legs it all, they wont be wearing discount shoes.

4. foursquare is built for businesses. – Marketers are very excited about geo-location social networks like foursquare. Why? Because it makes it easier for us to market to unsuspecting users! Presumably to give them coupons and discounts, and coming soon: Ads! But the thing is, most normal people don’t sign up for social network games so that they can be marketed to.

Will some people have marketing success with foursquare? Probably. Several businesses have actually had success with Facebook pages. But you should always be wary when you hear that “Something” is going to be the next “Something.” It wasn’t that long ago that Plurk was going to be the next Twitter.

Don’t get sucked into the marketers’ hype. Maybe the real value of foursquare is that we can use it to engage customers. But then, we already have Facebook for that.

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