How many times do you check-in?
Twice, Three times or maybe all day? It’s ok, you can tell me.
For the past five months you have been telling Foursquare.
Yes, Foursquare the new craze, the new social media channel that encourages users to check-in, or become a mayor of the local bar down the street. In the short period of time that it has existed, Foursquare now dominates the mobile web.
About five months ago I was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune about Foursquare – as a social media expert I was asked the typical questions: Is Foursquare the next Twitter? Can Foursquare make money? Is location-based social media the future? At the time I thought I had some forward thinking comments, but by no means was I able to predict how big Foursquare would become (in five short months).
How big is Foursquare?
Courtesy of Mashable: Just 12 days ago, Foursquare grew by nearly 100,000 users in 10 days, taking the total number of users to somewhere north of 600,000. Now a new update from the company reveals that Foursquare has almost 725,000 users. That’s somewhere around 100,000 new users in two weeks. The Foursquare bandwagon hasn’t lost any steam.
Foursquare also revealed a second stat: there have been over 22 million check-ins by its users. While that’s not the same as Twitter’s 50 million tweets per day, it’s a damn impressive number for a company that is barely a year old. It’s also more difficult to check into specific locations (you have to change locations) than it is to tweet.
Wow! – I’m impressed and so should Dennis Crowley @dens. From time to time we share some occasional tweets but he is way out of my league now and with the growth of Foursquare why shouldn’t he be.
My thoughts on Foursquare have changed a great deal in the last five months. I believe it has a chance of being one of the greatest social media channels around. Why? I have two reasons:
Reason 1: The involvement of people and gaming. Look at the huge following that Farmville has on Facebook (millions of people playing a virtual game). With Foursquare the game is real and so are the rewards – courtesy of Jack Aaronson’s article:
Here are some examples of companies using different reward schedules to honor their loyal customers:
- Alamo Drafthouse (my favorite movie theater chain in Austin) gives you two free movie tickets if you are the “mayor” of that location.
- Atomic Wings (in NYC) gives you 15 percent off if you are the mayor.
- Ben & Jerry’s (in Detroit) gives you a free small cone for every fifth check-in. Mayors get 10 percent off.
- The Doubletree Hotel Crystal City (Virginia) gives 20 percent off an entrée to all who check in. Mayors get 20 percent off their total bill.
- Nightingale Theater (Tulsa) gives a free bag of popcorn and a beer on your fifth check-in.
- Xoom (NYC) gives you a free smoothie when you buy one and check in with a friend.
- The Wynn Hotel (Las Vegas) gives you a free glass of champagne when you check in at the Blush nightclub.
- The Lite Choice (NYC) offers free upgrades to a larger size cup or cone just by checking in.
Unbelievable! – but also very believable and I find it increasing funny that more companies don’t take advantage of Foursquare’s unique ability to market businesses through gaming.
Reason 2: The ability to crowdsource. Crowdsourcing is a distributed problem-solving and production model. Problems are broadcast to an unknown group of solvers in the form of an open call for solutions. Users—also known as the crowd—typically form into online communities, and the crowd submits solutions. The crowd also sorts through the solutions, finding the best ones. How does Foursquare do this? Example: Last week Foursquare launched a badge for gym-rats. What happened? millions of people started checking-in to gyms all over the country. The problem (people don’t workout enough) the solution (create a need to workout).
One word came to my mind – social.
I’m not going to bore the rest of my readers with more text. Here is the YouTube CNN video story on Foursquare – worth watching). And a video from Dennis
Feel free to add your comments – I would love to hear about how many times you check-in and thoughts on Foursquare.