Playing Foursquare: A Mobile Social Game That Makes Friend-Finding Fun

Every year at SXSW developers unleash new products upon the tech-crazy hyper-early adopters hoping their launch will stick. And every year there’s one product that’s the talk of Austin. Two years ago it was Twitter’s debut, even though it’s just now hitting the mainstream saturation point.


Foursquare is “50% friend finder,” says Crowley, allowing you to “check in” at locations with your mobile device. Using a text-based field that works with the GPS skills of your phone, Foursquare narrows down your possible location and remembers it for next time. It can tell you who’s been there–helpful for navigating swarms of partygoers–and what they thought of it–helpful for knowing which parties to skip. Foursquare also plays nice with Twitter; when you check into a location, it can ping your Twitter feed.


Foursquare is currently available in 12 cities and still has a few kinks to work out (Apple approved the iPhone app about six hours before Crowley got on the plane). But just a few days into its release, Foursquare has netted some passionate users. “Someone was angry that they didn’t get their badge for going to the Digg party,” says Crowley. “He was all bent out of shape. I said I’d see what I could do.”


About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato.