As Users Tire Of Mayorship Wars, Foursquare Finds A New Way To Encourage Check-Ins: By Tapping Into Quantified Self Buzz

Posted: May 9, 2013 in Apps, Social, Startup, Technology
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Though Foursquare is now busy trying to take on
Yelp, one of its more rewarding, but personal use
cases (now that the fervor around badges and
mayorships has died down), is its ability to add
insight and data around your check-ins. Often after
registering your location, the app rewards you with a little encouragement or commentary via a pop-up
message. Today, the service is making these little
moments shareable with a new button which lets you
edit and post that message to Facebook, Twitter, and
more. For example, you might learn that you hadn’t been at
some airport since last December, or it’s your third
day in a row at a favorite location. In Foursquare’s
blog post about the feature, it gives the example of a
user who wants to brag about hitting the gym 3 days
in a row. (Though let’s get real, we’ll probably see more people posting about their ongoing bar streaks,
don’t you think?) The update may seem to be a minor one on the
surface, but it’s one which could encourage more of
Foursquare’s users to return to the app more regularly
– for that chance to post and share, as opposed to try
to win a mayorship crown or some other tired prize,
like a badge. These things were fun at first, but the excitement has worn off – but Foursquare still needs
a steady stream of data to keep its local
recommendations current and accurate. The feature also ties in nicely with the new movement
in “quantified self” devices – where users are tying on
items like the FitBit or Jawbone UP, for example, in
order to track and learn more about their daily
activities through data. Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley, in fact,
expressed an interest in the quantified self space
himself, during an interview he did last week at
TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013, with TechCrunch.
Though he had dismissed the rumors about
Foursquare developing wearables of its own, he did say that this is an area Foursquare would like to
further explore. Also of note, Crowley used an auto-checkin
utility recently, when he ran the Boston Marathon
(ahead of the attacks), which let him track his
progress mile by mile – so he’s clearly a fan. Foursquare is actually sitting on a goldmine of
personal data through its historial check-ins, but prior
to now, the messages taking advantage of that info
have been ephemeral – you would see them and then
hit close, nothing more. Today’s update is the first
step towards letting users better interact with Foursquare’s data store, if only by posting it to social
networks or saving images to their Camera Roll. The new feature is available in both
the iPhone and Android versions of Foursquare now.

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