It’s never easy explaining Foursquare to friends outside of the social media world. “So you check-in, get a virtual sticker and once in a while find a coupon…right.” Well yes, sort-of.
If you have downloaded Foursquare 3.0 in the last week, it’s clear to see Foursquare sees itself as far more than virtual stickers and 10% of coffee every 10 check-ins. Today, Dennis Crowley, Co-Founder of Foursquare, set the record straight and gave SXSW a glimpse into how the app is changing the way people interact through technology.
Crowley explained how the vision for Foursquare all along has always been more than badges. The vision has been taking the device in your pocket and creating an archived experience, a history of where you have been, with who and where you are off to next. Think Amazon, for daily activities he says.
Foursquare 3.0 and beyond will strike the core motivation behind location based technology of connections and then keep them all in one place for you. For example, when I arrived in Austin a few days ago and checked-into the airport I was greeted with a message saying “the last time you were in Texas was in October 2010 with Kate Larson.” Now that’s cool. It’s not all about where am I right now, but where have I been and where my friends advise I should head next.
While deals platforms like Groupon succeed in driving new customers, Foursquare is focusing it’s sights on repeat customers and loyalty. So far 250,000 merchants have activated deals on Foursquare, they are building communities, digital and physical and are reaping the rewards.
Driving users who are ready to explore their own backyard is what Foursquare is all about, and the path is quickly becoming clear. “It’s more than cute, we are making neighborhoods easier to use and encouraging people to do more interesting things” says Crowley. After today’s discussion, I now know I have a few more motivating factors in my location based defense and I personally cannot wait to see how this space expands in 2011.