Location Based Social Networking Week
Foursquare is the new kid on the block for location based social networking. They are looking to become the big name in location based social networking for your Smartphone, as long as the users allow this (more on that later in the week). They currently have a very youthful image, and appeal to a geekier, younger group of users, but with their fun system of badges and points they could take off with a younger audience.
This social network is active when you are. When you go to Starbucks, you check in. Need to make a pit stop at Jiffy Lube. Check in! The idea behind the entire network is that you let your friends know where you will be.
Companies like this, because it makes word of mouth advertising look like a natural way to build your business. As they say on the site, “If you own a bar or restaurant, foursquare can help you find new ways to connect with your customers.” They are looking to help businesses find new referral sources from local residents.
That is why this social network more than Facebook or Twitter is location based. You want to know where your local friends are going to eat, play, and work, not your friend up in Timbuktu. This will encourages users even more to see what their friends are up to, because it is fun activities that they can partake in.
Location Based Social Networking also removes some of the concerns that many people have had in the past about social networking. Why would I want to network with some random person in Mumbai or who are all these random people that I am connecting with online. Instead, with a site like Foursquare you are more likely to connect with friends in your area that you share common traits with, and therefore making a site like Foursquare all the more popular as this type of social networking takes off.
In the end this new location based social network longevity will depend on the enjoy ability of the system of points and badges that they offer users. For example, I am the mayor of three different locations. Go me! Additionally, I get points for each time I check and it is fun to see how quickly they add up. The only challenge is the points at this time do not count for anything, which kind of stinks, since I have checked into over 125 places and accumulated a lot of points doing so.
In the future, I believe that Foursquare will create a system to keep users engaged and rewarded for their loyalty to their location based social network.