Checking in on checking in
Yesterday was the annual ’Foursquare
Day.’ The popular view is that nobody ‘checks in’ anymore. In fact, some of us still compulsively check in almost everywhere.
Whenever I go anywhere, the first thing I do is pop open Foursquare’s Swarm
app, and earn some 'coins’ by checking in. I compete for the top spot in the weekly leaderboard of all the people I’m friends with in the app, but the main reason I do it is for that little kick I get from earning points ('coins’ in Swarm parlance) for just going about my daily life.
In the current climate, the idea of voluntarily giving a technology company my precise location in return for a mostly pointless game must seem extremely stupid to a lot of people.
But I look at it this way: your location is sucked up in the background by all manner of apps and adtech. You don’t know who’s got it or what they’re doing with it. Conversely, Foursquare’s Swarm app celebrates location sharing. It’s not a mysterious background process, it’s a core feature. It’s THE feature.
If you want a handy diary of where you’ve been, if you want a fun game where you rack up a score just for getting out and about, if you want a dedicated app for sharing your location with a select group of friends… Swarm is there for you.
If you want the best place recommendation engine out there (way better than Yelp), Foursquare is there for you. If you want the best place database out there, Foursquare is there for you.
, and if you’re going to feed the marketing beast with your data, you may as well have fun with it. And Swarm is lots of fun, at least if you’re someone like me.
If I’m going to like giving my data to anyone, it’s companies that don’t make a mystery of the process, and give real value in return. Happy birthday, Foursquare.