Okay so this isn’t The Gettysburg Address and I’m no Abe Lincoln, but go with me on this. Firstly – for those unaware – Foursquare is a locational social networking tool, that lets you “check-in” at various places (restaurants, shops, venues) on your mobile device and leave comments about your experience. The thing with Foursquare though is that it works by cleverly utilizing an awards system that gives users “badges” for checking in. This turns what could be just a check in tool into a sort of game, similar to achievements on Xbox Live or Trophies on the Playstation.
So how about seven years ago? Well, we wouldn’t have seen Foursquare then, because uptake for the application has been in many ways tied to the popularity of the Apple iPhone (it’s also available on Android, Palm, webOS, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile – at time of writing). Pop out your mobile device, load the foursquare app, it finds you and you enter the details.
Foursquare is also handy for reviews of places and a fun way to connect with those you already connect with. An example of this from personal experience saw me “check-in” at a new restaurant I’d never been to before, foursquare informed me that a friend on Twitter was the “Mayor” of the restaurant (because she goes there often), it also informed me that another friend thought a nearby restaurant served the best sauce on the planet.
Business owners too are catching onto foursquare by offering incentives for people using the application. All across the world – though at time of writing mostly in the US – some venues are promoting the Mayor by offering free drinks to whoever that person is. Others proudly state the name of the Mayor of their venue @foursquare.
If you’re not on foursquare yet, what are you waiting for? You can also attach foursquare to your other social networks. Assuming you don’t mind the geocentric nature of this application, give it a try, it’s a lot of fun.