As if I needed yet another reason to love my iPhone, I recently joined the Foursquare network. If you’re wondering what that means, Foursquare is a location-based app that is part social network and part game. Whenever you go somewhere interesting, you “check in” with your phone (Foursquare is not iPhone-specific), which then gives you points based on criteria such as “first time in a burger joint” or “first time at this venue”. With those points, Foursquare ranks you among your friends. You can even become the “mayor” of a location if you have the most checked-in days within a 60 day period. (You can stand at a particular location and check in over and over, but it will only count as a single day). Local businesses are starting to warm up to the idea of Foursquare and offer discounts to people if it’s their first check-in, or they’re the current mayor of that location. Foursquare will automatically tell you if there are any promotions around you. Foursquare users can also leave pictures or tips at a venue, which is great if you’re looking for things to do.
Foursquare isn’t brand new. I’ve known about it for awhile, but I didn’t really think anyone in this area was on there. For some reason I had it in my head that it wouldn’t be “fun” unless you were in a big city. I was wrong. I’ve only been using it for a week or two, but I’m enjoying it so far. Granted, the more friends you have there, the more fun it is. There’s no point in being at the top of the leaderboard if you’re the only person there. Many of my friends are anti-social networking, so I don’t ever expect to see them there. If they can’t figure out Twitter, they’re never going to get Foursquare. Facebook has implemented their “Facebook Places”, which is a copy of Foursquare. I don’t know how it compares to Foursquare, but I suspect that Facebook users probably enjoy it.
Anyone who reads this who wants to give Foursquare a try, feel free to drop me a line and add me to your friends list. I’m looking forward to next week when I will be checking in from some great new venues! Niagara Falls, here I come!