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Foursquare Integrates Social into Company DNA
By: Christopher J. Ryan
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Foursquare is was a location-based service where users could check in to share their travel habits, battle for turf via mayorships, share tips, and upload photos. Building a network (friends) was fun, too. This is a nice balance of social connection and competition.

Social Inspection
Foursquare’s latest development is another link in the normalizing gaze of digital culture. We are able to monitor the activities of our friends with a single app. Combined with Facebook, Twitter, etc. it’s difficult to miss a beat.

The new Foursquare is trending toward social. There are many exciting service changes, as a fellow Digital Pivot blogger, Elaine Reed, writes in The Facebooking of Foursquare.

Foursquare Souped-Up Analysis
The amount of click-through points has increased in Foursquare. It requires a little more familiarity with the app, so jumping in is more difficult, but once you know the way things operate it’s a much more powerful force.

The search powers have been revamped to include a location text field as well as interests, specials, and a map view, which is one of my favorite features. (Very similar to a consumer-industry blogroll.) It’s fun to play in different locations to explore a new area before visiting, too.

The “Me” tab is set up more like a profile page similar to Facebook that has your friends, stats, photos, tips, badges, and lists all in one central location. Your network is expanded by the social media and connections outlets to the right of your picture — call, comment, email, Facebook, and Twitter.

Integration
Foursquare is integrating their platform into other networks much better than before to increase sharing beyond the “check-in” point, which was the only place prior to their new development. The greatest change is the ability to “Like” other check-ins and locations to build a Foursquare persona. The way you can view photos that you have liked reminds me of Instagram. For more updates, select the “settings” tab in your profile and visit the changelog section for a more technical view of the experience.

The suggestion services located in Explore are most interesting. There are “special” offers tailored to your check-ins, suggestions for things to do later on (time), places and activities your friends have done that might interest you, and things like “it’s been more than 6 months since you were last here.” Some of these features were present in the old Foursquare, but the navigation has improved to be much more user-friendly.

Questions
  • What location-based services do you use?
  • If Foursquare is your ex, are you willing to go another round to see what has changed?
  • If you could tell Foursquare what to add, what feature would you create?


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About the Author
Christopher J. Ryan is a Writer/Blogger, grokking the human experience. Passionate about content, business/marketing, and digital lifestyle design. Obsessed with good Internets and all things digital. Follow me on Twitter, @TopherJRyan.
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