I have always preached that the best utilization of the interactive space is in real life experiences. By that I mean, using digital as a tool for people to have real interactions with the world; not to sit zombie like in front of their computer, waisting away all their social skills on buying people virtual drinks. That is why I have always loved Nike Plus, Meetup, etc.
This means I am truly psyched about Foursquare, a “… location service-based social network-come-game. What it does in effect is to tell you where your friends are and add a little fun to going out in the evening. It’s like Google Lattitude meets a little bit of Facebook, a touch of Twitter, a dash of Qype and even a twist of World of Warcraft. And if that’s not a cocktail for hopeless addiction, then we’re not sure what is.”
It’s a social game that you play using the platform in real life via your mobile – it’s fun for customers and brings in $$$ for small business owners. “Think: 50% friend-finder, 30% social cityguide, 20% nightlife game. We wanted to build something that not only helps you keep up with your friends, but exposes you to new things in and challenges you to explore cities in different ways…”
People earn badges and “mayor statuses” by checking-in to various establishments. “If you tell us where you are, we can tell you which of your friends are nearby. We call this “checking-in”. You can check-in from a park, bar, museum, restaurant, whatever. Badges are little rewards you earn for doing interesting things – e.g. staying out late on a school night or visiting places far outside your neighborhood. A mayor is when “you’ve got more checkins than anyone else at a particular place, we deem you “The Mayor” of that place. But once someone else comes along who has checked in more times that you, they then steal the “Mayor” title back from you.” In certain location the Mayor gets special discounts, privileges, etc.
I am about to start testing this tool as a client and on a business, will let you know how it goes and I am excited!!!