Is Foursquare the Next Social Network?


by Barbara J. Feldman on March 24, 2010

Social networking continues to grow in use and popularity, and the newest addition is the game of Foursquare. Foursquare is simple and easy to play. You can download Foursquare’s free iPhone, or Android application, or access their mobile site via your Blackberry (a Blackberry app is in the works), or sign on through Foursquare.com. Then you should invite your friends via your email address book, Facebook or Twitter account, because everything is more fun with friends.

Foursquare works like this-as you make your way around the city, Foursquare tracks your location via GPS, and offers you suggestions that are generated from other users on where and what to eat, drink, and experience in the neighborhood where you are at. It’s like having your very own insider information left by urban insiders, leading you to hidden finds, fresh experiences, and arguably most important-new things to eat and drink. Then if you like their ideas, you can add them to your to-do folder. In turn, you can leave tips for others.

In addition when you “check in” on your phone when you reach a destination, you are letting your Foursquare friends know where you are and what you are up to. This then allows them to do any number of things (they might join you, peer at you through the window or ask me for recommendations on what to order when they patronize the same place later that evening). It also lets them see the places you like and frequent.

Besides gaining valuable insider information on that great restaurant or bar, you can also earn points while playing. This comes from checking in at your location. When you have signed up, you will give a mobile number. You will use your mobile number to check in, and your friends will be pinged with a message as to your whereabouts. After you have checked in, you will earn a certain number of points. So while you play there is the fun of adding on virtual currency as well. This currency comes in several forms. These are-
Accumulating points-It is important to keep in mind, that these points do not really get you anything, but you can become the leader on the tally board, at least until someone else gets more points.

Badges-There is also an assortment of badges that you can earn. These badges reflect the fun-loving nature of the game. There are a handful of introductory badges that can be earned as milestones in usage. Some badges are also tied to venue “tags” and the badge earned depends on the tags applied to the venue. Other badges may be specific to a city, venue, event, or date. Some badges utilize identical icons, but are earned differently.Mayor-ships-This a title earned by the user, who has visited a specific venue, the most number of times. Sometimes a particular restaurant or bar may offer the mayor a discount. Keep in mind that you can hold several different mayor-ships, at the same time.

While Foursquare is growing in popularity, there are certain restrictions that you should be aware of. Right now you will need a smart-phone in order to play the game. In addition, Foursquare is only available in a limited number of cities. For today’s mobile generation, that travel more then ever before, keep in mind that you can play in a city that you are simply visiting. This way you can gain some valuable information on places to check out. There must be an established network in order for the game to be played, so this is limiting play at this time. However, with the rapid growth and popularity of the game, potential users should be on the lookout for Foursquare, to come to their city, as the next big social network.


More tips like this one in Online Trends



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