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Foursquare (Click link to return to main WIKI page)

*This page provides a general outline to assist in the organization of research topics related to your assigned Web 2.0 Application.

Web 2.0 Formatting Examples:

1) Plurk

2) Facebook Chat

I. History

Katherine: FourSquare was developed after "Dodgeball", an unsuccessful similar Web 2.0 Application. FourSquare is also available to be used through Twitter, seeing how the applications are very similar.

Katherine: According to the inventor of FourSquare, Dennis Crowley, him and a friend invented FourSquare in March 2009. Dennis Crowley is the CEO of FourSquare and his friend is managing the mobile code.

Damla: Dennis Crowley is the co-founder of foursquare, a service that mixes social, locative and gaming elements to encourage people explore the cities in which they live. Previously, Dennis founded, one of the first mobile social services in the US, which was acquired by Google in 2005.

-Questions to consider: How was the application developed? How does the application work? Are there any ways to use this application alongside others?

Katherine: FourSquare is a free internet Web 2.0 Application in which users download the application to their phone. Users then "check-in" to the places they visit. The more frequently they check in to these places, the more points and badges they earn. FourSquare is used to tell your friends where you are and find out the places they visit frequently as well. You have the opportunity to find out about specials at certain restaurants or customer's favorites on the menu. If you are the most frequent visitor at a place, then you become the mayor. Businesses offer freebies to the "mayor" of their business.

Taylor: The most infamous example of Foursquare marketing involves the competition embodied by the mayor status. Many venues are offering perks to the user with the mayor’s title, which has sparked further frenzy among users keen on claiming their territory.“We offer our Mayor a free medium coffee based drink or a Texas beer when they check in,” says J.R. Cohen, general manager of The Coffee Groundz in Houston, Texas. “So far it has caused such a stir between many friends of ours that they are fighting over checkins.” “We offer an all day happy hour for the Mayor & 1 guest,” Oras adds. “We have had a few mayor battles where literally someone came in for a drink just to steal back the title of Mayor.Dylan: The FourSquare Application is most popular on the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, and Palm, but is able to be downloaded on other devices. You are also able to follow FourSquare on Twitter and Tumblr. Essentially, the application is a way for businesses to encourage people to come to their restaurant, because once in a restaurant you can log in to FourSquare and get points for being there. The more you visit places, the more points you receive, and "badges" you earn, and if you are the most frequent visitor, like Katherine said, you become the mayor. Also, if you create your own business, you're able to register the business with FourSquare as a form of advertising. And also, large businesses with notify you through FourSquare of specials that are going on in the business as well.

Nicole: The foursquare applications for iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Palm use GPS to show a list of nearby places.  To check-in,  all you have to do is just choose the name of the place you're at from this list of nearby places.  If FourSquare doesn't have the place you're looking for you can always add it to the listings. And if you are worried about FourSquare knowing where you are all the time don't be. ForSquare only knows your location if you check-in and tell them.

Nicole: If you are the kind of person who wants to "check-in" to a place without your friends knowing where you are you can make an "off the grid" check-in. This is when you "check-in" but you hide your location. The reasons one would do this is because maybe they are out on a date or studying and do not want people to bother them, but you still get your points for "checking-in" and you can still earn badges!

Taylor: Our favorite Foursquare feature. If you've signed in to a venue more times than anyone else, you become the "mayor" of that place. Your status not only makes you a mini-celebrity among Foursquare users - your profile pops up whenever someone signs in at that venue - but some savvy businesses have begun to advertise special discounts to their mayors. Still, you have to be vigilant; other users can swoop in and take your crown. And gloat about it.

Read more:

Damla: Foursquare bears some similarity to the earlier Dodgeball application but has its own set of features that make it unique.Foursquare doesn't just broadcast your location to other users. It also serves as a game, pairing virtual rewards with real activities. Users earn badges as they visit different spots. Visit one location enough times and you become the mayor. You can use Foursquare to meet new friends, find out who else is in your area or compete against other people in your city.

II. How "FourSquare" Relates to other Applications

 Foursquare Vs Competitors

Victoria: Foursquare relates to other applications because it is quite similar to Twitter or even a Facebook status. When you “check-in” on Foursquare you are updating your status. When you "check-in" to some place it allows your friends to see where you are and what you are doing.  This allows them to come and see you or do things at places nearby you.  Allowing you and your friends to be connected and stay connected!

Victoria: Foursquare is really neat because the idea behind it was similar to Twitter but instead of just the “I’m Here” aspect of Twitter, it says “I’m Here, Now What?”. (*)   That last part (now what) is what makes this site more exciting, that is what people were wanting to gain out of Twitter but were unable to.

Damla: When compared the Foursquare and Gowilla, Gowalla has a much more steady stream of tweets sent to Twitter, Foursquare has huge spikes. In total, according to the Trendrr data, Foursquare is averaging about 500 Twitter posts per hour with peaks as high as 1,329 posts per hour. Gowalla is averaging about 100 posts per hour with a peak of 190 posts per hour.

 What can Foursquare do for me?

Victoria:  By using Foursquare you can learn more about your friends.  You can learn what they like to do in free time, where they like to eat, and where the places are that they frequent.  Foursquare allows you to be by your friends and to see them on a more frequent basis.  It can give you insight to some of the new “hotspots” or latest hangouts, and new restaurants. Foursquare can allow you to make lists of your favorite things to go and do and it allows for others to see those things.  It lets your friends know who you really are and where you really are.  Foursquare can show all the places that you have gone and are going, it helps to create a sort of profile for you and your friends, and can even suggest new places to try out because it is in your interests.  While being out and about you can "check-in" to places and see what kinds of “reviews” that businesses have earned from everyday public opinions, your friends opinions, or maybe your own opinions.  Foursquare can give advice as to places to go and things to try while you’re there, it can lead you from what is best on a menu to where the next place is that you should experience. It can even give you insight into who is having sales or discounts.

 Nicole: Another really cool thing about Foursquare is that users can also create "Tips" and "To-Dos" for places that they go to. This allows other users to be able to give their thoughts the places they visited and went to. Say you go to a restaurant and they serve the most amazing sandwich you have ever eaten, you could make a "Tip" for that restaurant telling everyone to order that sandwich when they go to that restaurant. According to the Foursquare help section the creators "wanted foursquare to be as much about sharing experience as it as about connecting with friends and discovering new places." And they help section also explains that the "To-Dos are more 'notes to self' ("Remember to come back and try the pesto noodles")". If there are "Tips" for the place that you check-in to they will pop up when you are checked-in to that location.

Damla: Foursquare is a web and mobile application that allows registered users to connect with friends and update their location. Points are awarded on weekends and non-business hours for "checking in" at venues. Users can choose to have their Twitter and/or their Facebook accounts updated when they check in.Foursquare enabled push-notification of friend updates, which they call "Pings." Users can also earn badges by checking in at locations with certain tags or for check-in frequency.The company has stated that users will be able to add their own custom badges to the site in the future. If a user has checked-in to a venue more than anyone else, on separate days, and they have a profile photo, they will be crowned "Mayor" of that venue, until someone else earns the title by checking in more times than the previous mayor.Users can create a "To Do" list for their private use and add "Tips" to venues that other users can read, which serve as suggestions for great things to do, see or eat at the location.

 Unique Application Effects

Victoria:  The most unique thing about this Foursquare application is that it has a points system and allows you to earn points.  You can earn points easily, from just checking-in, going multiple places in one night, or bringing friends with you to the places you chose to go.  This allows you to do something else, that is very different, which is unlocking and collecting badges.  These badges are earned through doing things such as checking-in at different places, finding new places, experiencing new places with new people, meeting new friends, or traveling to places far away and checking-in from there.  You even get badges for simple things such as working out or even singing.  I think the best thing about the points and badges system is that you have the capability of becoming a mayor of a place.  This means that you have frequented that place more than anyone else and that you have checked-in while being there.  Foursquare keeps a watchful eye on who has frequented these places the most and the businesses then give away free things such as ice cream, coffee, and even hotel stays. The points are reset on Sunday nights and all your work starts over again on Monday.  This gives everyone an opportunity to be involved and a chance to be mayor.  You will have to fight to stay on top, but that is what makes it fun and gives everyone a chance to reap benefits from the site use.  The idea is that businesses gain exposure, as does the site, and the people using it.  Many businesses are using this site and offer great deals for frequenting their places of business so join and start reaping the benefits!

Anna:  With Foursquare, as mentioned above, the more often you "check-in" the more points you can receive.  Points are awarded using this system:  5 points for the first time you "check-in", 5 points for adding a new check-in location, and it is 1 point for each "check-in" and it increases by 1 point each time you "check-in" again (for example:  1st time "checking-in" you receive 1 point, the second time you "check-in" is 2 points and so on).

 Pair Foursquare to maximize its potential

 Dylan: Foursquare has partnered with many other applications, such as Social Great, which is an application that uses Foursquare "check-ins" to track the most popular spots with your friends, so you can check where your friends like to hang out and the most popular spots around you for people to hang out. Another application that's used hand-in-hand with Foursquare is Layar 2.0, which as a virtual browser where you can overlap your Foursquare visit's and earned points with the entire worlds, and compare yourself to the rest of the world. Another fun application to use right along with Foursquare is Mob Zombies, which is an application that tracks your Foursquare visits and location points, then pits you against zombie hordes. Yip-It is an application that alerts a Foursquare user of sales and deals of your most visited places. is an application used with Foursquare that makes it easy to "check-in" to a restaurant, all you have to do is send a picture of yourself in the restaurant to a registered number. Foursquare X is the same application except used with a Mac instead of a phone or like device. One other application that is useful with Foursquare is the application fourwhere, which is a bunch of comments and tips from Foursquare users located on Google Maps to help people choose a restaurant to eat at.

III. Real World Application

-This section will include 3 Lesson Plans for each Elementary, Secondary, and Post Secondary levels. One out of the three needs to be STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) related. 

Katherine: FourSquare can be used in the business setting by having customers compete for who becomes the "mayor" of the business. Free food, drinks, merchandise, etc. can be awarded to the "mayor" of the business. This attracts competition between customers, therefore, increases revenue.

-An additional section under this heading will provide information about how this application can be used in a Business/Industry Setting.

Anna:  Most store owners don’t actually give out any freebies for customers who are Foursquare users, however, there are a few exceptions.  Some places give out free stuff to their Foursquare users for different things such as dethroning the mayor.  Some businesses see Foursquare as a good thing because for them it is free publicity for their business.

Taylor: In the past few months we've seen local businesses encouraging users to show their phones to servers and cashiers as a way to prove their loyalty to a particular place."Foursquare says you've been here 10x? That's a free drink for you!" 

"Foursquare has deemed you the mayor (aka you've been here more than any other user)? Enjoy this free order of french fries."
We've seen venues promote their involvement with foursquare via Twitter, signs at cash registers and sidewalk blackboards. We're just starting to make these specials "official" by including them in our mobile apps and on our website.

IV. Demonstration of Educational Value

Katherine: According to Crowley FourSquare is doing a partnership with the Travel Channel share information on historical data found while people are traveling. FourSquare has partnered with Bravo. For more information on the educational uses of FourSquare please view this link.

Anna:  At Harvard University, they used Foursquare to help students learn about their campus and find new locations on campus by using the application.  They also hope that this application will help bring people together and help students to meet new people. 

Nicole: As Anna said above, colleges like Harvard are beginning to use Foursquare to help students get to know their campus and their surroundings, but UNC Charlotte is talking it to another level. "The Business and Auxiliary Services on campus, along with campus dinning partners, made an outline of promotions that students, faculty, staff, and visitors may find valuable.Foursquare users that check-in at UNC Charlotte may yield and electronic coupon to a nearby dinning venue, and if you become the Mayor the coupon has a greater value."



V. How "FourSquare" is used Internationally?

Katherine: According to Crowley, 40% of FourSquare usage is outside of the United States in countries such as Europe and Asia. He also stated that Tokyo is on its way to becoming their largest city after New York City and San Francisco.

-Provide examples and/or information about how this application can be used in countries outside of the United States.

 Victoria:  This application is use in the U.S. and in other countries.  It is used for the same reasons in the other countries as it is used here.  It is used just as frquently there as here.

Dylan: Although FourSquare is used as often and for the same reasons outside of the US, it is only available for people with the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or Palm phones outside of the US. Within the US, there is a SMS texting short-cut you can send a message to the number 50500 about your current location to earn points. For now, this SMS short-cut is only available in the US, and if a person outside of the US does not have one of the above listed phones, there is no way for the person to use FourSquare.


VI. References


Crowley, Dennis. Personal Connection.

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1 Comment

  1. Unknown User (vtclark)

    Foursquare relates to other applications because it is quite similar to Twitter or even a Facebook status. When you “check-in” on Foursquare you are updating your status. When you check-in to some place it allows your friends to see where you are and what you are doing.  This allows them to come and see you or do things at places nearby you.  Allowing you and your friends to be connected and stay connected!