September 19, 2010
I still haven’t succumbed to the temptation of signing up to Foursquare, the location-tagging mobile app, but any day now I might just do it for the hell of it. Lots of people I know use it, but I’m a bit bemused as to its real utility. At first glance it seems to be for smartphone junkies who’ve got nothing better to do. In fact, what it boils down to is a game – if you visit a particular location enough times you become that place’s mayor. The big boys have noticed its popularity and started to muscle in on Foursquare’s territory, the latest being Facebook’s ‘Places’. The thing is, as far as I know, Facebook and Twitter only offer a location tag, whereas Foursquare offers up coupons and discounts to frequent visitors to, say, Starbucks. So here I have to take my hat off to 4square because it’s not just a location-tagging app, but also a revenue-bagging one, something the big boys would do well to do themselves. It turns out that 4square’s founders are pretty sharp start-uppers with plenty of business acumen.