Posted by: kristakhauk | April 13, 2011

Who’s Where? Foursquare

I’m going to go ahead and boldly state that we are a nation of over share. Being connected in today’s social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in – is a must in this day and age, and at this point, we all understand their importance in both the business world and social world alike.

If you have a Facebook account (God help you if you don’t) then you’ve probably seen at least a few of your friends’ check-in updates pop up in your news feed at various restaurants, stores or other businesses. Personally, this can get a bit annoying because I could care less about where the majority of my Facebook friends are at the moment, and I get the feeling I’m not alone.

In fact, that feeling turned to certainty two months ago when I discovered a new mobile social network called foursquare. Foursquare is a location-based social networking platform that is available to users with GPS-enabled mobile devices. Users can “check-in” via smart phone by running the application and selecting from a list of venues that the application locates nearby, sharing their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges.

To really understand the potential of this cutting-edge social media platform, we must examine foursquare by the numbers:

  • Users: Over 8 million worldwide, adding around 35,000 new users each day
  • Check-ins per day: Over 2.5 million, with over half a billion check-ins in the last year
  • Businesses: Over 250,000 using the Merchant Platform
  • Employees: Over 60 between headquarters in New York, NY, and a satellite engineering office in San Francisco, CA

 

Foursquare engages both users and businesses alike. Not only do users find the concept fun and motivates them to go more places, but it has really become a business tool as well. Businesses can post discounts or deals made available when users check-in at their location, but users are also intrinsically motivated to frequent certain venues. By checking in enough times at the same location, users can gain “Mayorship,” thus encouraging frequent visits and broadcasting it to that user’s network each time.

Foursquare is a social network that enables people to use mobile devices to interact with their environment. I would consider this new application to be revolutionary – in that the concept is cutting-edge. The other day I noticed a sticker on the window of the Allen Hall/School of Journalism that said “Foursquare – check-in here.” Looks to me like the world is welcoming this new social network with open arms.

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