Foursquare

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Contents

What is Foursquare?

Foursquare is a location-based mobile platform that allows users to “check in” via a smartphone app or SMS. When users check-in they share their location with their friends and compete with them by earning points and badges. Users can leave tips, information, and photos of the location on the Foursquare page. This information can be used by other users to create to-do/to-go-to lists. Merchants and brands can leverage their Foursquare presence by offering specials and VIP information to Foursquare users.

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Foursquare's History

Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai founded Fourquare in March 2009. The two met while working in the same office space in New York City. They began working on Foursquare in fall 2008 from Dennis’ kitchen table. Foursquare was then officially launched at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, TX. Foursquare has grown to over 10 million users as of June 2011.

[Infographic of Foursquare Users]

Foursquare by the numbers

Users: Over 10 million worldwide
Check-ins per day: Over 3 million, with over 750 million check-ins total
Businesses: Over 500,000 using the Merchant Platform
Employees: Over 75 between headquarters in New York, NY and an office in San Francisco, CA

Foursquare Videos

The Basics of Foursquare

This video will show you how to unlock your world with Foursquare including how to sign-up, get Foursquare on your phone, and get started using Foursquare.

Uses of Foursquare

1. Venue Tips: One Foursquare features is the ability to leave tips on a venue. Tips may be about past visitors’ favorite dishes, things to do, how to get a discount, and even secret menus. You can use these tips to decide which venue to visit, what to order, etc… or you can leave your own tips or comments on the venue when you check-in. These are all accessible on a mobile Foursquare app or mobile internet. When your friends leave tips at venues these tips are highlighted when you check-in. Brands can also leave tips on venues. If you complete a task or tip at a venue you can check-off that you have done it. You can also add tips to your to-do list so that the tip is highlighted when you attend next visit.

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2. Mayorships: Users can become the mayor of a venue by checking in more times than any other users over the past 60 days. The user is recognized on the venue’s Foursquare page. Some businesses reward the loyalty of the mayor by offering them special discounts or freebies.

3. Earn Badges and Points: When users check in on Foursquare, they receive awards and points. The more times users check in, the more points they get. Users can compare themselves and compete with friends and Foursquare’s other users on the leaderboard in the mobile app. When users meet certain criteria they are awarded with badges. For example, after checking in a certain amount of times, or at certain venues. Some badges are sponsored by different companies, like the History Channel, Wall Street Journal and Bravo. Here are a few examples of badges you could earn:

4. Discounts and Specials: Some businesses use Foursquare as a “digital loyalty card” to track users who visit their stores. To reward users for being a regular customer, they might offer a free drink every fifth visit or 10% off your bill the tenth check in. Other places offer discounts to the mayor. Specials a business is offering can be seen by visiting the Foursquare venue’s page.

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Foursquare.com's Mobile Compatibility

Foursquare provide apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Palm phones. Third party developers have built applications for other platforms, like Symbian and Windows Mobile. If there’s no app for your phone, you can check in through Foursquare’s mobile site or via SMS.

Foursquare for Business

Businesses can utilize Foursquare to interact, engage, and reward customers. Foursquare allows businesses to claim their venue and personalize it according to their needs. They can then track users’ traffic and comments on their site through the Venue Stats dashboard By offering specials only available to Foursquare users businesses can attract new customers and reward loyal ones. These specials are given to a customer when they check-in and then present their mobile phone to the venue.

This video shows how to start marketing a business on Foursquare.

Foursquare for Universities

Foursquare has a partnership with over 20 universities. Universities can help students explore their campus by sharing school traditions, information about classes and building hours, and insider tips. Students can now unlock new badges from an exclusive campus badge pack, rewarding them for their late nights at the library and attendance at sports games.

Conclusion

Foursquare is an easy way for people to hang out or discover new places to go and provides a chance to get free stuff or discounts. Foursquare can be really fun to use and play! Of course, some caution must be used in who users add as friends because users are sharing their location. For businesses, Foursquare can be a very important tool to engage and connect with customers and fans. Overall, Foursquare is a fun and interesting application to check out and can be a beneficial tool if used right.

See Also

[Foursquare on Mashable]

References

Official Foursquare Site
Foursquare Uses
How to Start Marketing on Foursquare
Wikipedia: Foursquare
Foursquare for Business Site