How Foursquare and Location-Based Social Networks are Changing the Internet
A few years ago everybody was worrying about the internet carrying an “information overload”. Many people were afraid of the internet collecting information about everyone, turning it into a global database with all the information in the world held in it – in the wrong hands, this could be dangerous.
I am of the belief this is the wrong way to consider things, and with the amazing success of Foursquare as a location-based check-in service, sharing information with your friends has never been easier. Combined with Twitter, your friends can now follow what you’re doing and where you are at all times of the day!
At first glance this may seem a bit scary. The knowledge that many people are following your every move can be a bit daunting, but think of how much potential this allows for future growth. If we can share this sort of information in an instant to anywhere in the world, this is only the beginning for such amazing technological growth.
The problem people are seeing with Foursquare and like-minded services such as Gowalla are mostly privacy-based. However the beautiful part of these apps is that you don’t need to participate at all! And even if you do, you can hide your posts and check-ins so that nobody can see them (the point being so that you still gain points and credits for being there).
Information Overload: Is it really such a bad thing?
The internet boom is still very much alive and kicking today. Whereas back in the late 1990’s many people were claiming the internet was growing too large, and allowing this much information to be stored in one place was only going to wreck havoc on us in the future.
But look where we are now, more advanced as a society than we’ve ever been with no signs of slowing down. I think after the release of Facebook and Twitter which allows you to share your thoughts and connect with your friends from anywhere, Foursquare is the next logical step in this social networking wheel.
Sharing your check-ins and places you’ve visited in real time allows for simplistic meetups with friends which wouldn’t have been scheduled otherwise. Along with that, the developers at Foursquare are working on ways to recommend restaurants and other locations based on where you’ve been in the past and what you’re friends recommend.
This is a groundbreaking concept, as this allows for an innovative and fluid transfer of unique information, without needing to call up your friends and say “Hey I’m in New York for the week, what restaurants are best?”. Further time is needed to see out the full potential of where Foursquare is heading, but I’ve jumped on the bandwagon already and I’m excited to see where this train is heading!