Social networking has become so prevalent throughout our culture and the world at large that it was only a matter of time before it was taken a step beyond Twitter. As technology evolves, so will social networking to fill these new niche’s created in the digital world.
One such social networking tool doing his is called Foursquare. It is an app for iPhone/iTouch and other smart phones and can be found in the Apple app store for free. This application uses your location, along with other information, to determine where you are geographically and then figures out what businesses/places are in your area. It then provides the option of checking in to wherever you are. By checking in, you send out a notification to all your other friends using the app letting them know where you are and what you are doing. You talk to people by using the shout feature built into the app. It is much like a mass Twitter message to all your friends letting them know what you are up to and you can also send direct messages to friends.
Foursquare is not the only company getting into this market, but Google and a fair number of other small start-up companies are as well. What makes Foursquare so different is that it turns the whole experience into a game. You get awards as you visit places, for instance if you were to check-in at a bar a bunch of times, you would receive the crunk award. There are also awards for going to the gym, mall, etc. If you visit a location more often than anyone else, the app will declare you the mayor of that location.
This new off-branch of social networking is in its infancy and is unlikely to replace the heavy hitters such as Facebook and Twitter. What it is likely to do though is carve itself out a nice cozy place in the world of social networking. Providing a service that the other two do not, this start-up could easily be crushed if Twitter in its next mobile update added such a feature. The only appeal remaining would be the game aspect of it.
This very well could be the future of social networking. Letting people know what you are up to would be as simple as pressing check-in. No more asking what you are up to, no more people wondering where you were because they would know all of that and whatever else you felt like sharing.