A few weeks ago I was running a social media training day for a company and one of the delegates remarked that I hadn't mentioned Foursquare. It struck me that the once hot location-based social networking service was now neither new, nor mainstream. And as such it didn't fit into the training plan.
This week I think all that is about to change.
Foursquare is about to turn two years old, and judging by the murmurings from some of the staff over at Foursquare HQ, they are planning a big round of announcements starting later today.
Only this weekend Foursquare announced that it had secured a new tie-up with American Express, allowing people checking-in on Foursquare to earn Amex points that can be redeemed in the real world (not just for the place you checked-in at, or for a digital badge or 'mayorship').
Earning rewards for online advocacy and custom isn't rocket-science, but services like Foursquare are making this a reality. There's no reason why Nectar points, Tesco cards, or other reward schemes should not be plugged into the social graph. And if location-based social networking continues to mature, I think that not too far into the future we will see checking-in being a more widely-accepted activity, and rewards a more widely-offered perk for doing so.
Watch out tonight for news from Foursquare. As they would say: it will be Bananatown. (not sure why, but that's the word they like)