Foursquare is a mobile phone application (Iphone, Blackberry, android,) created in 2009 by 4 very inspired young Americans, which allows you to follow the movements of your friends who are part of this community and find out which are the places to go and the ones to avoid, according to the members of Foursquare. It’s both a social network and a micro blogging site, where people post comments on the places they’ve been, and it’s also a "tourist guide" with recommendations, as well as being a game.
Foursquare is actually based on geopositioning and GPS technology. The application enables you to inform your contacts (the other members of Foursquare) of your movements in one click. Foursquare offers a list of shops and restaurants in your area, and all you have to do is choose the shop where you are, from that list, and click on "check in". This shows exactly where you are. And if that particular shop is not yet on the Foursquare list, you can add it. Why would you want to be tracked? Well, you could hook up with your friends, if you know they are in the neighbourhood. All you have to do is download your friends from your address book, or your Facebook or Twitter account.
You can meet members of Foursquare you don’t know, but with whom you have something in common: you go to the same place, a café for instance. That’s why Foursquare is like a social network, not to say a dating site. When you meet another member of Foursquare, you can "check in" with them. This, in Foursquare speak, is a friendly way of making contact.
What’s more, with Foursquare, you can find out the highlights of the area you’re in as well as the low points. You might, for instance, find out exactly what animal ingredients they use in the local pizzeria. On the other hand, you might wish you hadn’t.
Foursquare is also fun, it rewards its most active members with badges that are visible on their profile (or Foursquare page). No mystery here, if you want to win a badge all you have to do is "check in" often enough. If you check in 50 times, you win the "Superstar" badge. If you check in at 5 airports, you get the really cool "Jetsetter" badge. And 20 check-ins at pizzerias will get you the coveted "Pizzaiolo" badge! If you are out after 3am on a week night, you can have the great thrill of receiving your “School Night" badge, though your parents might not be so enthusiastic.
Regular customers of shops, cafés and restaurants get special advantages such as price reductions, as Foursquare is entering into more and more partnerships with sellers and advertisers. For the moment, though, privileges available to Foursquare members are still very limited. The person with the most "check-ins" in the same place gets the title of Mayor. All this actually means in terms of privileges is that once you’ve proved who you are, you get a free drink. Foursquare now has over one million users, and is attracting the attention of the big players on the internet: Google and Yahoo, both interested in social networking sites, are said to have offered to buy it.