Chances are if you have a “Smart Phone,” you have heard of Four Square. When it first debuted, a few select Appddicts (the tactical combination of App and Addicts), adopted Four Square right off the bat, but most people were not so keen on the prospect of people knowing where they are, go, or have been. BUT, it is a new day and age, and more and more people are reaching for Four Square as a way of weeding out bad restaurants, knowing secrets that their favorite places have to offer, and MOST importantly, to score sweet discounts.
What FourSquare essentially does is allow people to access the virtual layout of wherever they are. They can view places, and people that are at or have been to these places (depending on these people’s privacy settings). BUT, in order for FourSquare to be of any use to you, they need to support your city. These days, most important places are featured.
The most important aspect of FourSquare are “Check Ins,” or when you update your location and status. Check-Ins allow FourSquare to monitor the types of places you go and suggest other places to you, or even just let you know what friends like that place as well.
Another built in set of features on FourSquare are Badges. Badges are more or less little easter-eggs that are built in based on social information. For Example: Your first Check-In ever earns you a newbie badge. Multiple Check-Ins at one location earn you a “Local” badge, but there are loads more.
Friends can leave tips behind at places they have visited and Checked-Into. If you visit a restaurant and see that a friend has checked in, you might be able to see a tip they have left. This can be incredibly handy if, say, you are grappling between ordering a Buffalo Chicken appetizer or Onion Rings. Your friend’s tip might have the necessary review of both items, and be the deciding factor.
Finally, the ultimate honor of FourSquare. If you Check-In enough times to be the individual with the most Check-Ins at a particular location, you become the “Mayor” of that location on FourSquare. This is where the discounts REALLY begin.
Some places will offer you a small discount simply for your first Check-In, but most places don’t offer-up anything until you become mayor of their store. Ah, the beauty of social-marketing. Being “Mayor” of places can get you huge discounts and even free items from wherever you are mayor, and many college students (who have nothing but an abundance of time) are beginning to realize and reap huge benefits. The below picture is a free coffee and pastry at College of Charleston Library’s “Java City,” earned by a Campus Companion Writer, Mark.
Other FourSquare Screenshots!