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Why foursquare is growing exponentially…

For those who don’t know Foursquare, it is a social network based around your location.  Using the Foursquare app on your smartphone of choice (native apps available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Palm WebOS phones) you “check-in” to locations, and can see other people who have visited and what they say about it.  By checking in more than anyone else, you become the mayor of a location.

Mayors have typically been given special advantages, being able to cut in line, a free drink or two, and other discounts to name a few.  Now, Starbucks is offering discounts to any mayor of a specific Starbucks.  The deal is $1 and “NEW however-you-want-it Frappuccino blanded beverage.”  The deal is good until June 28.  It may not seem like much, but Starbucks isn’t exactly known for frequent discounts.

We were talking about things that are driving foursquare’s recent explosive growth on the Web Marketing Weekly Show. I suggested this Starbuck’s promotion has a lot to do with it, simply because it’s getting media.

Of course we can’t ignore the rise of Android based phones and other smart phones that give people access to a foursquare application. I’ve thought for some time business involvement is going to be required for foursquare to hit the critical mass that will provide the value needed to keep it going.

It looks like we’re getting close!


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