Foursquare has just celebrated its first birthday and has been live in the UK over five months now. As social networks go, it's pretty new in the grand scheme of things. Twitter and Facebook were much older when people working in PR and marketing started clamouring feverishly over their technology.
But the focus from the media right now in the UK is squarely on how PR campaigns and brands in a broader context are using this new social network,
Foursquare's UK growth is still rather modest, but it's not the community's sheer size that matters. It's the buzz. Foursquare is written about daily in the PR and marketing media, so it naturally follows that brands are seeing it as the new way to engage.
For some background on how it works in the UK, check these recent articles out:
- PR Week's podcast on Foursquare, brands and privacy (Speed's Steve Waddington and I agreeing lots)
- Rax Lakhani's blog post about how PR agencies are beginning to learn about Foursquare (nice overview)
- Marketing magazine's overview of the main British brands using Foursquare (client mentions)
- A full list of businesses globally using Foursquare (1,300 in total, only 17 in the UK. A great resource)
- Chart of the users with the most friends on Foursquare (ropey but not many people know it exists)
The jury's still out on how far the Foursquare craze will go in the UK, or what the measure of success will be... (I think it's pretty rudimentary to measure follower or check-in numbers as some of the above articles have done, for example, as you can see from the second and last links above), But I'm personally a bit of an addict and am doing some work directly with Foursquare's people myself, so am following this particular must-have with great interest.