Foursquare is a simple app that connects people within social networks to real places. Foursquare has certain activities or games, like for example, someone frequenting a place becomes the “mayor” of the location, and so on and so forth.
It can also locate friends for you aside from locations through GPS, so you know when you are within distance of a friend. As a tool for connecting people, Foursquare functions pretty well, especially by getting people outside their rooms or habits into new places, new activities and new things.
At face value, that is what Foursquare is. However, if you really look closely, it is just another way for businesses either to advertise or to anticipate your needs through the information you give them.
Real Friends, Real Communities
Foursquare even tries to imitate the surprise of meeting a friend at a location without the two of you knowing it. All you need to do is call that friend to make that date, or even just turn around to find him or her, but Foursquare takes away that surprise from you, all in the name of information dissemination.
While it can be a pleasure to find an old friend outside your regular habits, locations or circles, you have to draw the line somewhere, at what information you need an app to give you, and at what information you can figure out yourself.
And as long as you let Foursquare do all that work, what you are really doing is diminishing your relationships to a level that an app can understand, and not deeper to the point where only you and your friends can understand each other.
It is not even about being old-fashioned about relationships. It is about the control you surrender, and to an app at that. Imagine your closest friend you haven’t seen for too long. That relationship diminishes to the point of being immaterial because the information Foursquare will give you is with people just physically near you, or with business within tolerable distances.
In that information lies control. While Foursquare will try to adapt to your changing needs, even to take note of your closest friends with priority over new ones, or even businesses that you tag as preferred instead of ones being closer to you, you are still surrendering the control over to Foursquare. And the thing is, you should be able to do that for yourself.
It Is All About Business
No matter how the service is packaged, it is all about business. And this would be fine, if only the currency of letting Foursquare do business were not about real people and real relationships. The easy solution is to compartmentalize Foursquare into a certain set of Foursquare friends, and another set as your real friends, which defeats the purpose of making friends entirely.
Decades ago, Oracle had as its logo, “the computer is the network”. And while it has become true that the computer, the tablet, the smartphone and the laptop have become the network, making a person the network is not quite the same. Letting Foursquare limit you to a network is nowhere near what you are or what you can be.
You are not your habits, not the places you frequent, or even the people you connect with on a daily basis in your social media networks. You are not even the sum of all of these things, but even greater than that. Foursquare may make things very convenient, but at the end of it all, it is just business. You, however, are a real person, not a network. Try to act like one.
How foursquare can help save money
This is an useful phone app that allows you to “check-in” at the places you visit. If you check-in the most at a particular place you’ll be titled as “Mayor” for that particular place (such as a restaurant in your area). a mayor of a place (store/restaurants etc) receives special offers and discounts.
Even if you are not the Mayor of the venue, you can still save by checking-in to the location through Foursquare phone app.
American Express® Card members across the country are eligible for exclusive specials on foursquare. Connect any eligible Amex Card to your foursquare account for coupon-less savings. The discounts would be given to you in terms of statement credit in the next month’s statement.
Verdict on Foursquare
This is one of the most famous invention which brought about web 2.0 revolution. The fate of Groupon still hanging on a thread, where as Foursquare is a relatively new player and still playing in the slippery ground. The business model is runaway success but, the sustainability is still to be seen. As an investor you can watch out for their IPO (not yet planned though).
As a consumer we don’t even care, right? If a free app can save you money, then why not try it out?
Don’t make a habit to visit a particular venue to earn points. If you do the whole purpose of saving money is going to be defeated. Don’t just be a Mayor for the shake of becoming mayor. I love to eat at olive garden and at Chillies. I won’t mind being a Mayor at those two places if it can save me extra x% for every future visit.
We give a rating of “Must try” to foursquare deal app. Try it out!
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