The premise is simple (and, admittedly, a bit addicting): As you’re out and about, go to Foursquare on pretty much any mobile device to “check-in” as you arrive at your destination. Once checked-in, you can find out things like:
- Who else is currently checked-in
- Tips about the spot from others who have been there
- How many total check-ins (and hence popularity)
The more you check-in the more you’re rewarded with social currency in the form of various badges -- and you can share your “virtual acquisitions” automatically on Twitter and Facebook.
And, of course, each location has a Mayor – the person who has checked-in to a given location the most.
[So why all of the hype?]
In addition to the obvious social implications, there are powerful opportunities for brands – some of which, like Pepsi, have already taken advantage of the service for sponsorship.
(Image Source: DPstyles Flickr Photostream
There are increasing numbers of local businesses who offer specials and discounts to Foursquare users understanding that each time a person checks-in, it’s free promotion for their establishment.
And last November, BART (The Bay Area Rapid Transit) partnered with Foursquare with a special BART-themed badge and contest.
It’s been under a year since the service was announced (at 2009’s SXSW) and it seems as though user-behavior and technology are primed, ripe and aligned going into 2010 for location-based services like Foursquare to scale for mass usage like we’ve already seen from Twitter and Facebook.
And now is a good time for brands to take advantage of some early “test and learn” opportunities with the service to establish a foothold within an almost certain-to-grow user base.
Mike originally posted this on his blog Harmonic Aftershock.