ADOTAS – When this Onion article came out mocking Foursquare, I had several friends ask me if I wrote it — they said the tone was remarkably similar.
Something that puzzles many about Foursquare is why? Why I would I “check in” somewhere just to receive a worthless badge?
Of course, Foursquare and other moso networks’ popularity relies on the overinflated sense of self importance many people possess in the age Facebook and Twitter. People want to know where I am, people want to know what I’m doing. In other words, it’s a tool for feeding ego, or perhaps a receptacle for the excess.
Personally I couldn’t care if the world — or just my network of friends — knew what I was doing moment by moment, and most times I enjoy being in an undisclosed location. But this state of mind is increasingly in the minority — much to the joy of marketers.
Because you can’t put a price on the value of word-of mouth marketing; hence why moso network Buzzd has that name — if someplace has buzz, people’s curiosity will be piqued. But how long is the buzz good for? Hype tends to fade fast unless the underlying substance is truly worthwhile… Or there’s a deal — hence why we’re seeing so much more mobile couponing through these networks.
Location-based moso network Whrrl is the latest to jump on this ship, combining a game of chance with loyalty program. With Whrrl Society Rewards, every time a user checks into a participating retail location, he or she has the opportunity to win a real-world offer. Users earn additional chances to win as they gain levels in Societies, groups of users based on similar interests. Brands, of course, can set up their own Societies.
To up their levels, users recommend “ideas” and increase their rank further when their contacts express an interest, actually do the idea and/or further recommend it.
The launch partner is Murphy’s USA, proprietor of 1,100 Murphy’s Gas locations. What do users get a shot at? Free gas, of course. Imagine if every time you check in, you don’t get closer to becoming the mayor but stand a better shot at a filling up for free. Call me practical (which occasionally seems like an insult these days,) but as a new vehicle owner, that sounds like a great reason to check in.
Fill up my tank, Foursquare, and we’ll talk.