Thursday, February 4, 2010

What’s This Foursquare Thing I Keep Hearing About?

First the big social network was MySpace, then Facebook, then Twitter and now, Foursquare! Foursquare is basically a social network “game” where people check into specific locations. If you have a smartphone, such as an iPhone, Blackberry or Android, you can use Foursquare.

Why would you want to use Foursquare? The fun of Foursquare is to let people know where you are so if they are nearby or at the same place you can meet up or find new places to go to – like restaurants, museums, parks, etc. Now, this usually works when you have your actual friends on Foursquare, so it is best to add other Foursquare users who are your actual friends. Once you visit places, you will notice that you receive badges, which correspond to things like, checking into a specific place a certain number of times, or tagging specific places using keywords.

If you check into a place at least 3 times, you will become ‘The Mayor’ of that place. At some businesses that participate, being the mayor of a place gives you special discounts and treatment. You also get points every time you check in somewhere. While these points are just points for now, Foursquare is figuring out what they can translate into in the future. In my opinion, I was unsure about it at first because I was revealing my whereabouts, but the great thing about is that you can check in and not tell anyone your exact whereabouts but still get the points and badges. But, what’s the fun in not telling anyone where you are, right?

Foursquare is free, and has potential to being the next big thing in social media this year. What do you think? Are you on Foursquare? If so, do you find it valuable, or just ‘stalkerish?’ Discuss it in the forum or in the comments below.