Have you heard of Foursquare? If not, you likely will in short order. As some people here in the Valley are saying, it’s the Twitter of 2010.
For those who don’t know, Foursquare is a web and mobile app that lets its users to connect with friends and update their location. People in their 20s and 30s obsess over checking in at various locations to win digital badges. It runs on the iPhone, Android phones, Blackberry, Palm and other devices.
Crowley says the year-old company is on track to hit a million registered users around May 1, which would be quicker than Twitter made it to a million.
In our chat, Crowley says Foursquare is about “trying to make the real world more playful (and) trying to reward people for doing interesting things.”
Merchants are starting to climb aboard the bandwagon, offering coupons and discounts for people to check in or create a swarm, where 50 people need to check in at a venue or event. Some are pretty funny, like the Seattle business Babeland, which wanted to give a free vibrator to its Foursquare mayor, or the medical marijuana dispensary in Beverly Hills that wanted to give a 15 discount to its mayor.
This kind of swarm behavior, which Howard Rheingold chronicled early on in “Smart Mobs,” was much in evidence at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive Festival, where groups roamed from one party to the next following their friends’ leads on Foursquare. Continue reading