Until recently, I was a smart phone virgin. I treasured my Palm/flip phone combo and held off relinquishing my dynamic duo for years. After all, the team had stood by me; synchronizing faithfully for six (okay, even longer) years.
But recently, I took the plunge. Now just a few weeks into it, I am already an obsessed “Droid.” (Although I feel more like an obsessed Borg. For those who get it, thanks. I’ll be here until Tuesday.)
While I may not be an early adopter, I most certainly am not a late adopter either. I asked my smart phone consultant (or as I called him, the guy who thinks I need every accessory ever to load what he considerd vital applications on my phone.)
And there it was. Foursquare – the social network application I’d been hearing about for years. Make that months. Well actually, just for a few weeks. Point is, I had heard it mentioned a number of times. If you’re pretty familiar with it, skip the next paragraph.
With Foursquare, users share their location with friends by “checking in.” It incorporates gaming by giving you points for checking in at various venues and can connect to Twitter and Facebook accounts, which update when a check in is registered. The application can recommend places to go and things to do near where you are. By checking in a certain number of times, or in different locations, users can collect virtual badges. In addition, users who have checked in the most times at a certain venue will be crowned “mayor” until someone surpasses their number. Numerous venues have embraced Foursquare, and offer special deals to users who are “mayors.”
So is Foursquare for real?
Well, it’s looking good. The company has signed partnership deals with Zagat, New York Times, HBO, Warner Brothers, The History Channel, Lucky magazine and many other high-profile media outlets.
They are already monetizing with offers to the business services market. In the fall, they launched Foursquare for Businesses. It’s an advertising platform providing retailers with an opportunity to pay to highlight specials to Foursquare users who check in nearby and to get data based on the location-based campaigns.
And as for users, Foursquare added almost 100,000 users during a 10 day span last month, helping it to reach a million users in LESS THAN A YEAR. Twitter took two years to get a million users. Two years after that, Twitter now has more than 100 million users.
From every perspective, I’m impressed with Foursquare. And I’ve just learned that it works not only on the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry, but on Palm – and a flip phone, too.
Feels like I’ve come full circle.