Foursquare is a website that tracks users by using social media technologies. In a way, it is a way to consolidate all of the social media sites out there. This a new version of social media that has never been done before, because whereas sites like Facebook can show where you are only if you put it in your status update, Foursquare allows users (using mobile technology) to show where you are at and allows users to connect locally with friends as well as give them the ability to meet new people.
For example, someone who has foursquare on their smart phone (iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, etc.) can use the app to track where they are and different businesses that they frequent. Now even people without smart phones can use this app by utilizing SMS shortcut code technologies. When users arrive at a destination, they can “check-in” to Foursquare and let all of their online friends know where they are. The Foursquare website says to think of it as an “urban mix tape,” where users can compile lists of things they like to do and places they like to go and share that with their friends. Furthermore, the more times you “check-in,” can earn you “awards” like badges and the ability to become the mayor.
What’s the mayor in Foursquare terms?
To become the mayor, means that you frequent a certain place more than all of your other friends (at least as far as Foursquare knows). This can earn you special benefits as some businesses give special deals to a “mayor” of their shop or restaurant.
The benefits that this can have on businesses are obvious, as it will provide a “competition” between friends and in turn gain business for companies. However, this new social media technology brings concerns for individuals.
For example, it could be dangerous for people to “broadcast” where they are or where they are going to be. With other social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, you have the choice of whether or not you want people to know where you are, but the whole point of Foursquare is to track where you are.
This could turn out to be very dangerous and will be something to keep an eye out for in the future as this site and other sites like it continue to grow in popularity.