Today I unlocked a new badge on Foursquare, the Far Far Away Badge. This particular badge is intended for those in New York City who check in at a location above 59th Street. I was happy to unlock a new badge, but a little curious as to why it was unlocked…since I was in Brooklyn at the time. I’m sure this happens every now and then as there are certainly a variety of locations that may share names within a city (and since I was checking in via SMS and not location aware wifi).
It stirred up some thoughts I’ve had in the past though regarding businesses and Foursquare. Let’s say for example as business is a Foursquare partner (as many are) and offer a deal to those who check in, are mayor, etc… What’s to stop someone from simply checking in when they are not at a location, or checking in multiple times from a location in order to rack up freebies/points/badges/mayorships? How is this going to be policed moving forward?
The whole point of a service like Foursquare is to be social, whether that means meeting up with current friends/contacts, or finding new ones, so I’d like to think that people are not trying to quote unquote cheat here. The larger question is how will potential cheating impact businesses? If you’re a small business owner and are offering a discount or a freebie, don’t you want you’re customers actually in your place of business? Some might argue that they still get the “exposure” with a member broadcasting that they’re there…but they don’t get the income, and that could be all the difference to some small businesses.
Foursquare has HUGE potential and I’m curious to see how it will evolve over the course of the coming year. I expect I’ll have quite a few posts regarding the service in the future. What do you think of Foursquare and the potential there?
*This post was originally posted on JPeters1221’s Posterous.