Friday, February 26, 2010

Could Foursquare be the next news application?

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know I'm a user of www.foursquare.com
. For the uninitiated this is a location-based game / service where you can 'check-in' at a physical location to:
  • tell your fellow friends in the game where you are (e.g. "I'm in my local pub")
  • read and write tips to help fellow users (e.g. "The best beer here is xxxxxx")
  • become the major of the locations (a reward for frequenting each place the most)
  • unlock 'badges' that show progress and status
However, It struck me today that what would be an incredibly useful addition to Foursquare is the addition of local news articles.

The only problem with this idea is.... someone has had it already! .

Last month Canada's free daily paper The Metro News teamed up with Foursquare to deliver specific local content to users.
"Foursquare players who follow Metro and check-in near where they pick up Metro will unlock a special Metro Foursquare badge and be automatically entered to win. The contest is being promoted through in-paper ads across all 7 editions of Metro"

And a couple of weeks ago, The new York Times partnered with Foursquare in a winter Olympics tie-up that provides local recommendations on: restaurants, attractions, shopping and nightlife in the resorts of Vancouver, Whistler, and Squamish (where?). You can even check in to two recommended venues and unlock a special Olympics badge.

So.... is this the future of hyperlocal news? Has a game provided the right delivery mechanism for targeted and relevant content?
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