Foursquare has been around for several months now. In fact, it was first introduced at SXSW nearly a year ago, but is only really hitting the mainstream social media spectrum as of lately.
What is Foursquare?
Simply put, Foursquare is a mobile app that allows you to “check-in” at various places you happen to visit. Whether you’re at a bar, restaurant, store, sporting event, or at someone’s home or office, Foursquare allows you to tell people on your contact list you were there. The app uses GPS technology to pinpoint your exact location and give directions to your contacts via mapping services if they want to join you. You can also see who else has visited the location you’ve been to.
For each destination you record, points are earned. “Find a new place in your neighborhood? +5 points. Making multiple stops in a night? +2 points. Dragging friends along with you? +1,” according to their website. You can also earn badges for your work, which are awarded for a number of trips, such as travelling somewhere far, or going to the gym.
The information is shown to your contacts in a Twitter-like stream with your photo attached to the locations you’ve mapped.
Foursquare currently supports the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry and is completely free.
While this isn’t the first GPS-based mobile app to help you keep tabs on your friends, it’s quickly becoming the most popular. Foursquare is prevalent in major U.S. cities right now, such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. A search for my Canadian city only turned up a handful of destinations with just a couple people having visited them. As tech analysts predict 90% of mobile users will have smart phones by 2011, I’m sure we’ll see mobile apps like Foursquare becoming the normal way users communicate and tag future locations.
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