Tuesday, March 02, 2010


My brother grew up going to a boys camp in Maine that I was obsessed with. No, not because I was boy crazy (although my friends sometimes joke I never had a serious boyfriend in high school because I'd "dated" every guy in our grade by the time I was in 9th grade). You see, my brother's summer camp was AWESOME and I really, really wanted to go there. I did the next best thing and went to the girls camp I thought was most similar but one thing my camp was lacking that his was not? Foursquare. Foursquare, you may recall from your days on the playground, is a fun game with one of those red bouncy basketball-esque balls and four squares and eventually players get eliminated until one is crowned champion (and if you really care for a detailed explanation, I suggest you look on Wikipedia).

But that is not the Foursquare I'm talking about. (I know, I made you suffer through that boring anecdote for nothing. Sucker.)

You see, the Foursquare I'm currently really into is a geolocative social media app. Think Twitter but it's competitive. And it's all about "checking in" places, and the more places you check in, the higher your points, the more "badges" you get, and then you get bragging rights with your friends. And who doesn't love that? Bragging is AWESOME.

Sure, it's minorly creepy because you can see where people are. For example, this morning I checked in at Starbucks in Brentwood. But if you have enough friends doing it, the whole competitive edge is fun. It's also convenient - you can just log onto Foursquare and see where you're friends are. Maybe they're at a bar not too far from you and then you can just swing by. There is also a tips feature, so if I check into a restaurant where one of my friends has added a "tip" or a "shout," it will pop up when I check in. So lovely to get menu suggestions! Or to be told to avoid a certain cafe because the service is miserable. You get the point.

Anyway, there's a lot of branding and partnership potential here, and while some companies have already jumped on board (Conde Nast, Marc Jacobs, Bravo), there's still a relatively small userbase and consequently there's huge opportunity for early adopters who offer incentives with Foursquare.

In other words, get off the playground and check it out.

1 comment:

Robyn Silverstone said...

Welcome to the Foursquare train. If anything, 2010 is going to be the year for geo-loc apps and social networking. Fav is definitely Foursquare, had a play around on Gowalla but not as nifty as Foursquare.

There's an app for the iPhone called Geocaching which actually makes Foursquare quite fun. Check it out http://ow.ly/1bu5c