Anyone who knows me, will be aware of my love for Foursquare, however, the worlds of mobile application & social media are fast-moving and unforgiving. Fortunately for Foursquare, 2011 continues to be the year of the mobile & with that, geolocation, mobile e-commerce & iOS5. Below, I list 3 ways in which Foursquare can use the latest developments in mobile technology to their advantage.
Payments made via mobile are slowly beginning to become the norm for consumers, especially in the US. If Foursquare were able to integrate mobile payment & check-in, giving the user the option of check-in at point of sale, even sharing your purchase, check in could become more natural than “forced” – Terence Noah is at MINI Chelmsford [£ MINI COOPER 2011]. Of course you wouldn’t want your late night trip to the chemist broadcast to your online communities, my solution, a simple Foursquare “opt-in” function during payment (this could run at the same time as the payment is authorising).
Alongside this function, Foursquare could also develop its specials section further, perhaps introducing Foursquare Rewards, a loyalty card to rival Groupon & Nectar.
This kinda relates to the e-commerce solution, but allows for times when a purchase isn’t made. Many will agree that the major downside of Foursquare is that you physically need to get your smartphone from your pocket/ bag and consciously “check-in”. Imagine if this was automated. I’m not saying the application automatically checking you in every time it believes you to be somewhere new, but rather, sending you a push notification (similar to a text message), asking “Hey, it looks like you’re at Lee Marshall Hair… Would you like to check in? Yes/ No” . Though you still have to physically accept, this could save time and potentially a fair amount of waiting for your 3G connection to load.
This may sound a little “intrusive” but I believe with the introduction of iOS5 style notification later in 2011, this can easily be accepted or ignored with little concern. Allowing a sensitivity level would ensure that you weren’t inundated with notifications. By this I mean notifications only being received if you were within X amount of meters of a location. This would also go some way to solving the problem of forgetting to check in.
You’ve got Klout
A further feather in Foursquares cap. The social media engagement measuring tool believes Foursquare to be one of the top 4 influencers of individuals’ social ranking. The site recently integrated LinkedIn (following Twitter & Facebook) into it’s scoring. I predict a growth in users as soon as the application is included. I wouldn’t count against a Klout badge also.