Is checking in and vying for control of your favorite locations losing its luster? Do you want more out of your Foursquare experience, other becoming a mayor? How about connecting with friends and business in a way that goes above and beyond sharing locations?
If so, get ready for Foursquare pages, a service that is attempting to increase the interaction between Foursquare users, be it companies and/or individuals. According to an article in Ad Age, the Foursquare developers want to make the experience more robust, instead of having its 10 million members simply check in.
Ad Age details the development:
Foursquare is launching a version of its pages application this week, allowing anyone, from a major brand to an avid citizen, to create a page and leave tips for other users to follow. To be clear, current users’ pages can’t be turned into follow pages, but anyone can create a new account to be followed. The company intends the change to appeal more to brands.
To clarify, users cannot follow pages, but they can follow accounts. While the attempt is focusing on increasing content, it also sounds an awful lot like creating a stand-alone social media platform where users are actively sharing more than just their locations.
Currently, these brand pages exist on Foursquare, but the idea is to expand their functionality, making it easier to connect with like-minded users. Ad Age has more:
This latest iteration of Foursquare pages allows people to follow one another short of forming a friendship. CEO Dennis Crowley, for example, no longer accepts friend requests, but can be followed and is a chief source of tips to his followers who do not see every venue he’s checked into.
It’s uncertain whether or not people will want to follow someone just for tips, especially if they aren’t friends. As indicated, these pages are intended for bigger brands, meaning they want individuals to follow the companies they frequent. Apparently, the idea is for a company like Starbucks to engage Foursquare users with tips on proper ordering etiquette.
Foursquare management also sees the increased usability as a way to produce more content, other than User Such-and-such just checked into his favorite local bar. With the new page capabilities, members have requirements when they create one. The minimums are five tips and an image needs to be uploaded and associated with the page in question, be it brand or individual.
Another change is the automation the new developments bring to the Foursquare staff, especially for companies looking for profile pages:
While most major companies such as Pepsi and Starbucks already have brand pages, the 75-person company had been approving account requests through a hand-wrought process involving Excel documents that were being handled by a dozen staffers. The new process is entirely online and only requires a Twitter account to authenticate…
The report indicates the updated pages will be available soon. The question is, will Foursquare become a social media platform in and of itself, or does its success depend on Facebook/existing social network integration?