Monday, January 25, 2010

Foursquare, in Your Newspaper?

The Metro News, Canada’s free daily newspaper, has unveiled a huge partnership with everyone's favourite geolocation-based, mobile, Social Media toy, Foursquare. Following in the footsteps of Harvard University and San Francisco's BART, the partnership with the Canadian newspaper will see Foursquare populated with an abundance of new content such as restaurant reviews, city tips and to-dos. Foursquare automatically offers up tips and to-dos for nearby locations when you 'check-in' somewhere. The programme will see Foursquare turned into one of, if not the largest, travel guide to Canada, with content constantly being added to and updated by the public itself.

Part of the deal has also seen the introduction of a new Foursquare badge especially for Metro. The badge is awarded to users who 'check-in' to locations that the paper is distributed from. To celebrate the launch of the new badge, the publication is giving away an iPhone 3GS to five lucky users who unlock the badge.

For me this is a major milestone and shows a new use for Foursquare that I've never heard anyone suggest. While there are many pubs and restaurants that have realised the potential of the service to draw in new customers, we (in Ireland at least) have yet to see anyone beyond this sphere of businesses even consider Foursquare.

Foursquare had been previously restricted to a set number of cities that it was steadily growing in short bursts, and essentially only users in these cities could use the service. However, following a recent fundamental change to the platforms backend engine, the service has seen a rapid growth as users have become able to 'check-in' and tag locations anywhere in the world. On the back of this, Foursquare has without doubt been looking for a way to fully capitalise on this new truly global audience.

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