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What's the Buzz About the Foursquare App?
What is all the buzz about Foursquare?

Foursquare is a new app where users tell their friends where they are and what they are doing. Sounds kinda like Twitter or Facebook status updates but with a combination of city-guide tools and a competitive game between friends. Foursquare users "check in" with their cell phones when they go to restaurants, bars, etc to earn badges. People with the most check-ins for their location become the "Mayor".

Once checked in it alerts friends to their current location. You can write comments for your friends to let them know what you think of the restaurant or location you are at. The whole idea behind Foursquare seems to be incorporating elements of popular social media like Twitter, Facebook, Urbanspoon, and BrightKite but all rolled into one with a hint of gaming and social competition.

The app now boasts more than 600,000 check-ins each day and has even earned the attention of mega-retailer Starbucks, which has just offered the "Mayors" of Starbucks $1 off their frappuccino if they show the barista that they are the store mayor.

For retailers, this is an excellent way to promote your store or restaurant. Foursquare is like a customer loyalty program where players are competing to become the mayor by checking in to as many places as they can, and can come join their friends for lunch or coffee once they see where they are at. 

According to an article by the NY Times, one Foursquare player stated that "Foursquare is more of the people that I actually hang out with and want to socialize with".  One retailer stated that "for a small business with a limited advertising budget, it's a great way to promote ourselves," and that there were about 67 people currently working for their Foursquare user discounts, which reward Mayors with a free cup of coffee and regular patrons receive their 10th cupcake for free. That seems to be a pretty good response from such a new social media app, and best of all, it's FREE.

Foursquare has released it's own API, allowing developers to build their own applications, making it even more fun for players. Michelle Herrin uses Foursquare and has attempted to recruit our office to play as well. Whenever she checks in somewhere she can see what other friends have said about the place, which gives her some insider info about favorite meals and ones to avoid at local restaurants.  To download the app, visit:
Categories: Social Media

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