Let’s Play Foursquare!

17 Mar

I’m sure that most of you remember the good ol’ days when we played four square at recess. I remember drawing the squares with a white rock and always calling square number one. But, like most other outdoor activities, children aren’t playing four square anymore. They have switched over to computers or their game console. Just as these children have transitioned, four square has become foursquare. Well, not exactly, but sort of!

Foursquare is a location-based service in which users can “check-in” to the places they go and, if they have added friends, their friends can see where they are. Often, people synchronize their foursquare account with their Facebook and Twitter so that people are alerted of that cool new restaurant that their friend is having dinner at.

Companies can claim their venue on foursquare and alert those who are nearby, or those who check-in, of specials. Here are some examples of specials:

“Free appetizer for every third check-in”

“20% off smoothies when you present this check-in”

“Free drink for the mayor”

Whoever checks in the most to a particular venue becomes the mayor. This is a great way for companies to really get to know their regulars and give them freebies for continually visiting their venue and advertising their visit to their social networks.

Like any other social network, using foursquare can potentially be dangerous for individuals. Since it is a location-based service, people can find out your GPS location almost exactly. Be careful where you check-in! I wouldn’t check-in at “my house” because I would be telling the world where I sleep at night. Also, don’t check-in at potentially dangerous locations when you are alone.

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