Can 'Loser' App Foursquare Survive?

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I get called "a loser" for a whole host of reasons.

Just check the comments section of an article where some random member of the LCD doesn't agree with me. I'm used to it. It's all good. I treat it like an endearment term.

Lately, close friends have used the term to describe my use of and/or fondness for the check-in app Foursquare.

I'm not sure what it is about Foursquare that I like so much. Because, when the dust settles, (A) it provides zero value for anybody along its food chain from user to "advertiser" and (B) others do the things Foursquare either doesn't do, can't do, doesn't do well, will not do or never thought of doing quite well.

Really, you are a loser -- hey, don't be offended, you're in good company -- if you use Foursquare even close to obsessively.

Let's be honest with one another: Foursquare fulfills this strange and egomaniacal emotional need we have to let people know we are out and about in cool places. I cherry pick the check-ins I post to Twitter and Facebook (FB) with the reader in mind no doubt (Do I have a neat picture to go along with the post? Something interesting to say?), but, like so many Foursquare users, I fall into the trap of checking-in just for the sake of checking-in and only publicizing across other social networks check-ins I think my network will socially approve of.

How then does Foursquare -- an app for losers -- survive, let alone get bought out or go public -- successfully -- someday?

Starting with category B. Everything Foursquare does, doesn't, can't or will not do, another platform does better.

If you just want to be broadly social, which can easily include a "check-in," even if not via Foursquare, you go to Twitter or Facebook.

What's funny -- and I cannot be alone in this experience -- is that if it's a Foursquare check-in I want people to know about, I Tweet or Facebook it. If it's one that's less exciting or I'm not all proud of, I keep it isolated to my relatively tiny Foursquare network. I know most of the people who follow me on Foursquare probably aren't looking anyway.

Weak social engagement. Twitter, Facebook and even random others have it covered. Strike one.

If I want directions, I use Google (GOOG) or Apple (AAPL) Maps. That's a big deal for Foursquare even if the company doesn't realize it.

Foursquare needs to be more than a check-in app. It needs to be, like Pandora (P) , hyper-focused on discovery and personalization.

When I need to know my surroundings, I call up Google Maps when I want to type and I holler at Apple's Siri when I want to speak.