If you are hearing about the new social networking game-Foursquare and want to get started here is what you need to know. Foursquare is continuing to rise in popularity, and users report that it has the best and most fun aspects of all social media tools.
Foursquare is a mobile, smart phone-based, social networking platform that is centered on the idea that people should go out at night and have fun instead of sitting in front of their TVs and watching reruns. The idea is to go somewhere fun (a restaurant, bar, movie theater, the park etc.) and check in. The more times and places you check in at, the more virtual currency you earn.
Foursquare starts like all social networks. You just need to get to the Foursquare site (PlayFoursquare.com) and sign up with a free and very brief profile. The profile will ask you for your mobile phone number so it can ping you. Then you can add a photo and find your friends.
Keep in mind that in order to play Foursquare, you will need a mobile phone to check-in from, and a decent SMS package on your price plan. You should also know that there is an app for Android, iPhone and soon to be released ones for BlackBerry and the Palm Pre too.
Before you head over to Foursquare, there are certain restrictions that you should know about. The system has to be city specific, so there are different networks for a number of different locations. Keep in mind that if there does not happen to be one in your location then it is not going to work for you. So far you can play in the following locations:
- Dallas / Fort Worth
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- Minneapolis / St. Paul
- New York City
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Washington, DC
While playing Foursquare is really all about fun there is a chance to earn virtual currency.
This virtual currency comes in three forms:
- Points that are earned by checking in. These are points that place you on a scoreboard with local friends. Keep in mind that these points reset every week with the glory of top placement only lasting until someone else comes along and gets a higher score or the machine gets unplugged.
- Badges-These are like Boy Scout merit badges gone wrong. For example, you can earn the School Night badge for checking in after 3:00 a.m. on a weeknight. The Playa Please badge is earned by checking into a venue with three members of the opposite sex.
- Mayor-ships-These come by checking into one venue more times than anyone else. Remember, you can hold the mayor-ship at several different places at the same time. This is an incentive for those die hard, nightlife lovers.
While there is no denying that the point of Foursquare is all about fun, there are several interesting applications that have arisen from the game. Some of these are-
- When you check in somewhere, all of your Foursquare friends in that city are notified. In addition, these check-ins can be pushed to Twitter. This has become a faster way to stay in touch with your friends.
- Foursquare has started to offer location-based marketing. When you check in at a local restaurant for dinner, a small green “Special Nearby” tab might show up, letting you know that the bar down the street is offering a drink special tonight. Or perhaps you will get a notification that the Mayor is eating or drinking free!
- Foursquare has become a location-based social media platform, where members comment, about the locations themselves. Users are now offered a real time critique, by the people, who are most like themselves.