In a recent productivity drive, I reviewed how I use social media and decided that if I only could use one app on a daily basis it would be foursquare.
Using foursquare to explore an area provides me with up to date (sometimes almost real time) tips, reviews and also special offers from one simple interface.
I use foursquare privately. Checkins provide the app with important data to provide recommendations for when I explore new areas. The radar feature currently being developed means that soon, your phone will alert you every time you are close to somewhere that (based on your checkin history and favourites) you will like. To improve the future accuracy of this function, I only checkin to places of interest (restuarants, tourist attractions, sporting venue, book stores etc) and not generic regular places such as train stations, super markets, hostipals etc.
foursquare also interegrates with Amercian Express, providing cash back on purchases that are accompanied by a checkin. This has value for both the user and also vendors, this is why I and others believe that foursquare is the easiest social network to seemless monitize its services without effecting the user experience.
The pictures, tips and reviews within foursquare also means that foursquare has a growing pool of verrified local and venue related user genrated content.
Moving forward, I would like to see foursquare integrate Tripadvisor to provide more in app reviews. In addition to this I would also like to see the option to make in app purchases for local business products and services via the integration of a payment system (Paypal, Square, Amex, Visa etc).
And what about Twitter and Facebook?
For me, Twitter is the ideal tool for broadcasting information. I use it to share content I have created. This is normally done automatically via WordPress. For me, consumming content through Twitter is just too overwhealming. Although for real time news, Twitter search is unbeatable.
The dark sie of Twitter is that it is too easy to get lose yourself in tweets, and ultimately waste time. Trying to have a discussion on Twitter using just 140 characters is at best frustrating, and at worst impossible. I currently do not have the twitter app on my phone.
Facebook has become my social address book. It is where I can log and record all the people I meet, and use it to reach out to them. The number of friends I have now means that using Facebook to monitor news from close friends is difficult. The list function recently introduced does start to address this issue. I only access Facebook from my tablet whilst at home to see personal news and updates from friends.
For general news and updates relating to my interests and hobbies I use Google Reader. This RSS feed reader easily allows me to segment and monitir news from one interface.
Despite all the developments in social media I still find the best way to keep in contact with close friends and family is telephone calls and email, and of course personal meetups….
But if you haven’t tried foursquare, give it a go, I really believe it is the future and super useful. It is available on all smart phones.