Foursquare check-ins need to extend into the virtual world


I read this announcement today on TechCrunch that Foursquare is going to begin testing ‘add to Foursquare’ buttons on WSJ, allowing you to funnel virtual content into your Foursquare account. Just in case you’ve been living under a very large rock, Foursquare is a company that has turned geo-location/venue based check-ins, into a game. Heinously descriptive video here. As the virtual and physical world collide through technologies like augmented reality and qr codes, 4sq users should be able to check-in to virtual locations. I should be able to check-in to CNN, Facebook, Twitter or TechCrunch. These are virtual destinations, just as a restaurant is a destination.

This would expand the concept of mayorship and increase the types of badges a person could attain. (I wonder who the Mayor of Facebook is?)

If Foursquare did this, marketing opportunities would explode! Advertising within the physical venue could be based on the sites that recently visited and vice versa. This connection between the virtual world and the real world would enable marketers to create robust persona’s and better partner with customers to deliver personalized marketing.

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I'm an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently interested in artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, cycling, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive + surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and tattooing.