Twitter seemed stupid the first time you heard about it. Facebook was barely better.
But with Silicon Valley icons, Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz getting behind up-and-comer Foursquare with $20 million in new backing, you know it’s something to look out for.
Foursquare offers GPS check-in services through smart phone applications. Let’s say you head out to your local Starbucks to get some work done. When you get there, you launch your Foursquare application which recognizes you’re in Starbucks through your phone’s GPS capabilities. You get credited with one check-in, which is rewarded by FourSquare through points. And it becomes a competition among your neighbors as to who can visit local establishments the most frequently. Some businesses have even started rewarding their most frequent visitors with real prizes.
Plus, you can let your friends know where you are. And if they’re nearby, you can get together. You can also publish this information en masse on Facebook and Twitter, but there’s obviously a concern about letting the general public know exactly when you’re away from your home.
But despite the privacy concerns, geo-tagging is becoming more and more popular. And Foursquare is leading the way in name recognition and press. Now with the brightest brains in the business behind it, it’s going to be interesting to see if they can get a foothold in the market before Facebook comes out with their own version, which is reportedly in the works.