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What is Foursquare?

May 25, 2010

Chances are you’ve heard a lot of talk recently about “location based services.”  What is that exactly? It’s an information/entertainment service (application) used on a mobile phone that utilizes your location to make the application work. One of the most popular applications that uses a location based service is called Foursquare.

Foursquare is:

“A cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things.  We aim to build things to not only help you keep up with the places your friends go, but that encourage you to discover new places and challenge you to explore your neighborhood in new ways.” -Foursquare

To sum it up: users, like you and me, sign up for Foursquare on our mobile device. As we go to locations throughout our city we “check in.” As you “check in” this allows you to tell your friends where you are, earn points, badges and sometimes free offers or deals. You also leave tips at different locations, like suggestions of what to order or where the best table is. And when another user goes to that location, they can view all the tips left from previous users.

Not only is foursquare a location based service application, it’s got a twist of social networking in it but even more than that – it’s a game. Users compete with their friends and people in their cities to get points and more importantly obtain mayorships. A user becomes the mayor of a location after a certain number of check-ins at an establishment is reached. Often times, they unseat previous mayors because they have been there more times in the past two months, and so on. For instance, in my town I’ve been going back and forth with a friend for the mayorship of Target. I get it, she goes and checks in and gets it back. And so on.

Becoming the mayor of a location can have benefits. For instance some restaurants will offer a free appetizer or slice of pizza to the mayor of their establishment. A bar might offer a free drink. I know Starbucks right now is offering a $1 off a Frappucino to any mayor of any Starbucks location. Carrabbas also recently had a special for their mayors as well.

Foursquare‘s website has a great help section that goes into a lot more detail than I do. You should definitely check it out.

But check back tomorrow for part 2 of this post where I’ll go over the ways that Foursquare can help your agri-business, restaurant or shop. Best part about Foursquare – it’s all free!

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