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Published on December 19th, 2009 | by Saurabh Pandey

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The Next Big Thing After Twitter! Is FourSquare The Answer?

I was beginning to hear a lot about Foursquare in the past few months , actually more after I bought the  iPhone3G, and in the past few days decided to explore and experience Foursquare myself.

To start with I have always been very impressed with the idea of using location based targeting with social networks (though I understand that people always may not want to reveal their locations and may be averse to this concept). However Foursquare takes it to the next level intelligently by using the entire concept as if it were a video game.

The idea that strikes me about this is that it allows me to know if my friends are nearby, what are they doing , what are they recommending and if there is a possibility of collaborating and doing something together-without having to ask or trying hard to describe in 140 characters.

I have always believed that the idea of social networking is not so much about making friends out of  strangers-but about sustaining and enriching our relationships with existing and real friends.

The iPhone app of Foursquare is awesome and convenient, though I am not able to use it fully as I am unable to find New Delhi city in the app and hence have registered in Mumbai (the only Indian city in the list I guess)

So How does FourSquare Work?

Foursquare allows users to ‘check-in’ whenever they visit a place. This place could be a local chai shop, a vegetable market, your gym, a café, a cinema hall, restaurant , a hospital and what have you.

When you ‘check-in’ you can ‘shout’ about the place to all your friends and maybe write something in your ‘Todo’ and ‘Tips’.

Based on your location visits Foursquare can recommend you about similar places to explore nearby, and as you explore and check-in you gather points.

You can also become a ‘Mayor’ of a place if you frequent that place enough-in other words for the FourSquare citizens you are an expert of that location.

Marketing and Recommendation Benefits:

Many brands are tying up with Foursquare and are offering attractive incentives to ‘Mayors’ in their locality or their shop.

So let me take you back to ‘Mayorship’ and ask you- ‘isn’t this an exciting way to build loyalties?’ Imagine if I am pronounce the mayor of café coffee day, brigade road, Bangalore. That may give me a image boost and if café coffee day announces that it will give a straight 25% off to the Mayor, maybe there will be many people fighting for that post.

This kind of gives a new twist to the old loyalty marketing. So imagine how you could use this for your brand-let us know your thoughts and ideas here or at Facebook page of Atomthought.com

Second this has huge recommendation value-

Getting a recommendation on facebook or twitter is one thing-but getting a recommendation from a friend who I know and see is an expert of a location/shop is another thing.

The gravity of recommendation doesn’t need any proof here-it’s very clear and transparent at FourSquare.

Imagine how useful this could be in India at Commonwealth 2010, when we would experience huge inbound travel traffic-many of them would want to explore various places and how they will use FourSquare to discover locations.

Going the HyperLocal Way

If I were to get offers of products near the places I frequent regularly, what more do I want? Foursquare knows where I visit frequently , and perhaps can eventually decipher the time and trend of visits- and push relevant ads for those locations only.

This is perhaps better than a local search engine or a yellow page- because now there is a local-social integration and recommendation opportunity built-in.

My Recommendation

I am eagerly awaiting inclusion of New Delhi, and perhaps recommend FourSquare that they should make the city inclusion automatic. Which means the app should automatically identify where am I looging-in from and create that location in the city drop-down list.

Once I register from that city-I can invite my friends thus creating a population and traction for that city. 

So this will be a social and open way to expand FourSquare’s eco-system and convenient for people like me.

By the way Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey is one of the angel investors in Foursquare! So not sure if Foursquare would compete directly with twitter, but for sure this is one app that could be the star in 2010. Watch out!

So, friends if you enjoyed reading this piece and if you also have any ideas and feedbacks about FourSquare, do share with our group here or at Facebook page of AtomThought.com (look at the top right hand corner and join us)!

 

 

 

 

 

Image Souces: http://img.skitch.com ; http://www.foursquare.com ; http://thetakeaway.org

 

 

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