Saturday, May 8, 2010

Foursquare, what is it? How is its business model?

Foursquare is a(nother) social network based on the location of the user which allows you to register in different places such as museums, restaurants, bars, your friends, acquaintances or followers can know where you are and which are your preferred places. Using Foursquare in your Blackberry or i-Phone allows you know at any time a large number of entertainment options near your location, and be able to know about these options through other's tips. It is not the first one, actually Brightkite has this honor, combining location sharing and friends' connection.

For a more accurate definition, this is what the webpage of Foursquare says: Foursquare is a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things. We aim to build things to not only help you keep up with the places your friends go, but that encourage you to discover new places and challenge you to explore your neighborhood in new ways"

As every social network, you only start benefiting from its features once you dive deeper into it and become a relatively frequent user.

When this application become really useful -and potentially addictive- is when it's downloaded to your Blackberry or i-phone and the updates of your preferred places can be done in real time. Features like the "mayor" (you get points according to the number of times you visit a certain place, becoming a "mayor" of the place) are definitely useful tools to make it more and more essential for the night-lovers, gourmets, music, theater and cinema fans...and in general everyone who likes to enjoy the amazing entertainment offer that a city like Madrid (in this case) has everyday.

The business model

Foursquare is conceived, from the business point of view, to understand and recognize the customers' preferences in what regards to their entertainment. This information is provided to the managers of the business (restaurants, cafes, etc) so they can understand the needs of the end-user and keep their attention based on offers, discounts through coupons or special promotions, in order to gain loyalty from their clients or reach to new clients. As you can see in Mashable, there are several ways where Foursquare can benefit retailers, Hoteliers, Tourist offices and of course their users. The idea is to make the client feel special by using these tool, accesing to extra features: Wynn and Encore hotels in Las Vegas offers to Foursquare clients enjoy a glass of champagne at the luxurious Blush Boutique nightclub.

Rodolfo Carpintier Santana describes it in his blog the new social networks business' models such as Foursquare as the business of geolocalization, and Enrique Dans in his blog is foreseeing the exponential increasing levels of acceptance this tool is achieving based on a game-like component in order to complement its social and funtional features.

The use of Foursquare in Spain - other alternatives.

For the spanish readers, most of you probably don't know about Foursquare (i actually did only two weeks ago, although i have to admit that i have become a frequent user nowadays!) but you may have heard about Tooio, (pronounced "tuyo" which means "yours" in English) an alternative to Foursquare for spanish users, run in association with Idealista, one of the most respected webs in Real Estate searching in Spain. You can know more about Tooio here.

As this blog is about music although it will be used from time to time to submit my Information Systems' assignments, I am not going to disappoint my readers and here are today's selected songs (let's go Japanese today...) one of them is protected by BMG - Ariola so I can't get the embed code, however here's the link: Mecano - Japón (1984)

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