The Mayor of Geolocation

Abr 15 2010

dennis_crowley

Dennis Crowley

“It’s a little bit of a friend finder, a little bit of a social city guide, a little bit of a game”, according to its co-founder Dennis Crowley, and the next shiny thing on the social network horizon, as stated by some analysts. Facebook and Twitter pop the “what’s up” question. Foursquare simply tells people where you are, but it has captured the attention of the social networks sphere in just a few months.Inflatables Quality

The location based social network, designed to “incent people to explore cities in ways they haven’t done before”, has already been embraced by more than 200.000 users, while marketers still ask what is all the fuss about and whether they need to pay attention.

Certainly, Foursquare isn’t the only location based network –Gowalla being its main competitor-, but Twitter wasn’t the only microblogging site on the Web horizon either. And here it is. On March 2010, the platform created by Jack Dorsey has recorded a 1,500% growth in the number of registered users and the number of its employees has grown 500%, according to the first email newsletter on the company’s progress by the website’s co-founder Biz Stone.

Some tech-bloggers think the game-like nature of Foursquare, which enable users to earn points by ‘checking in’ at various locations, is engaging enough and can drive new opportunities. For the record, The Financial Times has just signed a partnership deal with the company to let users “unlock” its paywall system when they check in at a designated spot.

What are the possibilities open up by location-based marketing? Put differently: do marketers need to start taking notice? In two years time, will people care about how many checkins they have? Is there any possibility that Foursquare become another Dodgeball, which was acquired by Google in 2005? Will it compete with Facebook if the largest social network does Geolocation right?

These are some of the questions Dennis Crowley, who has been named one of the Top 35 Innovators Under 35 by MIT’s Technology Review magazine (2005) and who is currently an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, will answer in HitBarcelona. Not to be missed.