My favourite app for this week is:

Name: Foursquare

Created By: Foursquare Labs, Inc

Platform: iPhone, Android and Windows Phone

Price: Free

Available from the iTunes App Store

This is an application that I have used consistently over the past two years, I find it particularly useful to keep track of where I have been. It is a location based social networking app and website that allows logged in users to check in at locations. I use foursquare to get reviews and recommendations for places I might not normally go to, on the business side it can encourage brand loyalty. When a user checks in to a location they receive points and depending on what type of check in will alter the amount of points they receive.

The users are also able to share each check in with Facebook and/or Twitter. You are able to create locations if one does not already exist. If you check in enough times at a location you will eventually become mayor, depending on which country and company, being mayor gets you various rewards like free coffee or money off selected goods.

Badges can also be earned when you check in to various venues; there are a lot of badges to collect. This is like getting stamps in your passport. Collecting badges alongside of becoming mayor gives me a sense of achievement.

I really like that users are able to comment on a venue which helps guide whether I go to this location or not. For example, I can look at a restaurant to see the amount of check ins, see pictures of meals and get recommendations on what to order.

There are three tabs on the application. The first is ‘The Friends Tab’, which lets you see where your foursquare friends are checking in.

The second is ‘The Explore Tab’ where the following areas are available to look at to help you decide where to go and potentially check in:

  • Top Picks
  • Specials
  • Saved
  • Food
  • Coffee
  • Nightlife
  • Arts
  • Shopping
  • Sights
  • Trending
  • Recently Opened
  • Haven’t Been
  • Been Before
  • Friends Have Been

The third tab (which will be under the users name) gives you all your check ins, badges and mayorships plus a list of your friends, tips that you have written and any lists you have subscribed to. Lists are created by users to show their favourite locations, such as Favourite Cafes. You can subscribe to a list (of recommendations) and then go through and check in at each location.

Foursquare in Australia is nowhere near what it is in America, specifically the major cities. In America there are a lot more rewards for mayors and it is also distance specific (foursquare knows if you are too far from the place you are trying to check in to) and this is not the same in Australia.

I do wish that Australian companies embrace foursquare more than they have, as a mayor you should get something for your loyalty, even though the recognition among the foursquare crowd is still quite good to have.

I highly recommend using this application no matter what phone you have.