Everyone Wants a Piece of FourSquare


locationADOTAS – The marketing prospects of location-based mobile social networks (we need a shorter name, stat) are pretty hot as Loopt’s new discount program with Mobile Spinach showed yesterday. But rival FourSquare is further turning up the heat with some high-profile partnerships.

The latest big name is Zagat, which will offer “Foodie” badges to users checking into Zagat-rated restaurants. In turn, Zagat will shoot eatery recommendations to FourSquare users as well as reader reviews and favorite dishes. Users can also enter cuisine recommendations for their FourSquare friends.

And it gets a little more interesting: Zagat will run interviews of FourSquare “mayors” — the people that check in at certain locations the most times — on its website. If only Zagat rated street vendors — I’m totally the mayor of Alan’s Falafel.

The Zagat deal comes after FourSquare partnered with cable TV channel Bravo to offer badges that correspond with such heralded shows as “The Real Housewives,” “Top Chef” and “Kell on Earth.” FourSquare also has a promotion going with the ensemble romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day” in which users receive “Romantic Tips” and can unlock badges in various cities.

Add to that a campaign with the HBO show “How to Make It in America” and an inked deal with Harvard University. Man, who isn’t getting into bed with FourSquare?


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