I'll leave out describing how foursquare works, since there are already iconic descriptions of foursquare functionality. As an avid foursquare propeller-head, I can tell you why I think foursquare is great:
- I can track friends, and use my knowledge to facilitate serendipity. If I'm nearby and a friend checks in to my local lunch spot, I can drop in to say hi.
- I can predict my friend's receptivity to ideas. The friend who checked in from the bar at 3 am isn't going to join me for the trail hike at dawn today.
- I can be the mayor, which gives me a tiny sliver of a sense of ownership for a place. Not that I'd help take out the trash, but I will bring a friend over unannounced. Also, given a choice between two places, I'll go to the one at which I'm mayor. I've heard from other mayors that they feel a similar sentiment.
- I can find out about new and unheard of fun places from my friends who are there, and I can avoid places they don't recommend as well.
- I can annoy my husband with unprecedented acuity. No longer can he check in at the market without me calling to remind him to get stuff from the list. (Love you, dear. If he didn't want me to know he was there, he just wouldn't check in.)
- I win the game. I'm part of a nomad comedy troupe, I work at multiple locations, and I eat out a lot. I like a game I can win!
Let's consider what a marketer might do with that public location data:
- A business can market to prospects based on check ins. The person who checks in to camera shops from an ordinary cell phone might be receptive to upgrade to a smart phone with camera, for example.
- Foursquare is getting smarter about being business friendly. Venue owners can now
control who is the mayor or their location. Thus, they can run promotions for a location with a reasonable expectation that they can avoid being fleeced. Also, foursquare is now using the GPS data received with a check-in to note whether the user is actually anywhere near where they say they are. This crack down on cheating means that a business can have a reasonable expectation that people are where they say they are. "And where there are rules, there can be commerce, participation and meaningful investment," (from Read Write Web).
|Image via CrunchBase|
Eva Lyford , first posted at Biznology Blog.