Foursquare – helping us, 50 million members of the community, discover what is happening around us, and what do other members think about it.
More than 50 million people use Foursquare monthly, and there are reasons for such great numbers.
The concept involves some interesting features: using location services on smartphones, the app helps the user discover what venues, places, tourist attractions are nearby; people can check in to places they visit; reviews and recommendations can be posted by the community members, as a reference for other users planning a visit to a place.
Now, the benefits of Foursquare, I believe, go two ways. Firstly, it is not only helpful, but exciting as well for the members of this online community. The app guides us to places we would not otherwise know the existence of, for example, an artisan coffee pop-up, or a healthy fish and chip shop in your neighbourhood you never noticed before.
Secondly, it works the other way around as well: businesses benefit from additional publicity they get on Foursquare, and the recommendations left by the community can help a small business flourish. Another great opportunity for businesses is Foursquare promotions: for example, some cafés will give you a discount or a free food item for a Foursquare check-in, in this way attracting new customers.
The challenge here, however, is the trust you can put in the community. The mean comments about ‘rude staff’ at your favourite café: to what extent are they true and can be trusted? You’ve experienced service not less than excellent so far – why is another member of the community feeling completely different? What about the positive reviews? Could it be that a member of staff wrote these?
However, these are just minor issues. The most important part is the mutual benefit to the foursquare community and to businesses participating. Community members are happy to visit new places, the business owners are happy about the revenue it brings. Win-win.