Foursquare Check-in – Amazingly Addictive!

Foursquare is a location-based social networking application that can be used on various mobile devices. While I was a bit hesitant to the nature of Foursquare at first, I must say it is quite addictive.

Foursquare allows people to “check-in” to various venues based on their location. Users can connect with other people allowing them to share their location, as well as seeing their friends’ location. Foursquare uses the GPS service on your mobile device to provide you with venues in your area. Users simply pick the venue and check-in, recording it within their profile. If the venue is not already on the list, the users have the ability to create the it.

In order to make it more interesting, there are various “badges” that users can earn. For example, when I checked into 5 different Starbucks, I was awarded the Barista badge. While this might sound silly, it is actually very addictive.

In addition to badges, users can become the Mayor of each venue, by being the person that checked into that venue the most times. Again, sounds silly, but it’s addictive.

So why would I even want this on my phone you might ask? Here are some reasons:

  • Allows your friends to see where you are and meet up with you if you are in the area. When you connect to a friend, they can see where you last checked in. In addition, each venue will show people recently here, allowing friends to connect. Of course if privacy is an issue and you don’t want anyone knowing where you are, you can turn off the feature and not publicize your whereabouts.

  • Allows users to see what is in the area. Foursquare utilizes the GPS technology on the mobile device, so when users are in the vicinity of different businesses, Foursquare will let them know. This is a great way for businesses to advertise themselves to potential customers.

  • Users can get opinions and tips on the venues they visit. When you check in there is a section that allows you to leave tips for other visitors to read.

  • Businesses can also attract customers by promoting specials. That’s right – there is the ability for businesses to tag their venues with special offers! A few examples are listed below (these were taken off the Foursquare website today)

Sports Authority (Baltimore, MD)
Get a $10 Cash Card towards today’s purchase as a thank you for being our Mayor & Sports “Authority”! Exclusions Apply.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill (Baltimore, MD)
Show that you’re the Mayor of Carrabba’s and enjoy a complimentary dessert with the purchase of an entrée. Grazie!

American Eagle (Ottawa, Ontario)
Check-in to any AE store and unlock a 15% Off discount towards your next merchandise purchase. Expires 7/31/10. Limit one per customer.

Field House (Baltimore, MD)

Free house wine beer for 3rd check-in Find Carly, John or a manager!

  • Businesses and users can track venue stats. For an individual, this is a way to remember where you were and how many times you were there. Even more important, businesses have the ability to obtain real-time venue stats that show such things as most recent visitors, most frequent visitors, visitor volumes by time of day, gender breakdown etc. If a business knows that more males visit their establishment on a Wednesday night, they have the ability to use this information and sponsor a “Ladies Night”.

As with any location-based application, users should be careful what they advertise. I would not necessarily create your home venue for everyone to see; unless, you want them to know where you live.

Foursquare has also been subject to users falsifying where they really are just to obtain mayor status and badges. Foursquare has worked around this by utilizing the GPS on the phone. If you are not near the venue based on GPS, you can check-in, but will not receive credit.

Similiar to most social networking apps, if you have a Twitter or Facebook account, and want to share your Foursquare statuses with everyone, you have the ability to link the accounts.

Foursquare might seem like a kid’s toy on the surface, but there is some real practical use to this application for both end-users and businesses. The application is a pleasant and addictive experience!

Check out Foursquare at http://www.foursquare.com/

ConclusionRecommend

Practicality Score3.5 / 5.0

Practical use – Social Networking / Marketing

Target Market – people who are looking to keep in touch with friends, looking for new places and deals, or want to play with a cool and addictive mobile application on the go!

Alternative Apps/Competition – Loopt, Gowalla, Yelp

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3 Responses to Foursquare Check-in – Amazingly Addictive!

  1. Liss says:

    Does it give you a badge for blogging about foursquare? 1) I had no idea this existed. I will need you to show me this on your phone and 2) I thought I already was the Mayor 🙂

  2. ChatStu says:

    Haha – very funny! Being Mayor can have its advantages – I just saved $10 at Sports Authority for being the Mayor!

  3. I just installed FourSquare after reading this post and I have to say that while it may be a niche market at the moment it has a slew of attractive features especially in the social network area. It’s limited deployment at the moment may also be an advantage to early adopters like yourself as there is less competition for good deals!

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