Foursquare is a popular location-based social networking application. Users can create profiles and check-in to various establishments to update their contacts about where they are, or to simply keep a personal log. There are dozens of uses for the application, and more are being thought up every day. One of the more interesting uses of late, is to turn Foursquare into a map of various celebrity or historical figures lives. The first of its kind was developed by Foursquare user, Paul Rayment, a PR Manager. Rayment took it upon himself to map out the significant life events of deceased rapper, Tupac Shakur.
Fans of Tupac can log in to Foursquare and view 13 landmarks of the rapper's career, spanning both coasts of the United States. Rayment takes fans through the rapper's short life, starting as early as his performance at the famous Apollo theatre. Tupac started performing early in life, acting instead of rapping. He joined Harlem's 127th Street Repertory Ensemble at the ripe young age of 12. The virtual tour takes fans to the location where Tupac signed his recording deal with Death Row Records. As expected, the final check-in takes place where the rapper was tragically shot and killed.
When Foursquare first became popular, the primary draw to the application were the social networking and game-like features. Users could keep their friends and family updated on all the cool and/or mundane places they visit throughout the day. Badges can be earned by checking into a certain number of locations per day, or for reaching specified numbers of check-ins, among other achievements. Another fun aspect of the application is earning and maintaining mayor status at any given location. The Foursquare user with the most check-ins at a given establishment is deemed the mayor. Some stores even offer discounts for their Foursquare mayors.
Foursquare has been around for a few years now, and more and more uses have been thought up for the application. Users like Paul Rayment can create educational tours with the application. In fact, Rayment announced on Twitter than fans of his Tupac tour can expect a Jay-Z career landmarks tour on Foursquare soon. Universities, like Harvard, have used the social networking application as an orientation tool for new students. Not only can students share information about their campus, but the staff at Harvard encourages students to get to know their campus a bit better by checking-in at various landmarks. The developers at Foursquare took note and are currently working on more features for students to be released next fall.
In addition to Foursquare's seemingly endless educational potential, the application is also a great marketing tool. It can be used by businesses to personally reach out to customers, offering discounts for check-ins. Some coffee shops have been known to monitor their Foursquare page and personally acknowledge users who check-in with a thank you and even free merchandise. Foursquare encourages businesses to use their service to connect with customers, and offers daily deals to users through Living Social, Gilt Groupe, Zozi, AT&T, Groupon and BuyWithMe.