Foursquare

I work in digital. As such, I tend to justify an every increasing social media addiction on the grounds I need to play with new social sites and digital bits of kit in order to “understand” the audience. This isn’t a lie, you understand, just creative justification. 🙂

Recently, I’ve been playing with foursquare having resisted for some time*.

Things I’ve learned:

1. I have no life: seriously I just go to work, Pret, work, and come home again.

2. A surprising number of people seem to have their homes logged. Is this wise…? I think not. Anyone want to buy some computers…? 😉

3. My phone has less no sense of direction, frequently it believes I’m up to as much as half a mile from where I am actually standing or, as I prefer to think of it, is in a constant state of quantum flux diligently reporting on my alternative selves locations. This would also negate point 1 and really I’m a bastion of fascination, my alternative selves are the ones who are dull.

4. Checking in is mildly addictive. Something is wrong when you frantically try to check in before the train pulls out.

5. Being Mayor does not mean you get to wear a big gold chain. Sigh.

I don’t really get it…

Joking aside, I can’t really see the upside for the consumer in this at the moment. I get the advertising application but the workflow for a user checking in is not seamlessly integrated into a related activity and the current upside from loyalty related offers is minimal.

But in the future…

This feels like an interesting idea that’s not quite baked. For example, I could see this kind of pinging out to networks working if mobile phones and credit cards continue to converge (that’s a big if) and a younger set of users (that view privacy as something archaic) come to the fore. At present though I don’t think the current hook – a game style reward system – feels pretty cynical and not really narratively interesting enough to hold a large audience. I’m not a gamer though and so perhaps not the target audience.

Any gamers want to suggest a different, more likely, future for this platform?

* Honestly, you’d be proud of me over how I hesitated and guffawed over the invasion of location stamping. It was only when I realised I tweet where I am most of the time that I had failed to dodge this landmine…

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