Foursquare and the Next Generation.

We are often pointed in the direction of trends via our children, we get the word on the street from them. A direct link to what is new, what they like and what they think of things is important to understanding our future.

The children are the future, it is not just a line from a Whitney Houston song. (please tell me you remember that one!)

Children are always enthused by things their parents like and mine are no different. I have  no love of a regular football team to pass on to them and so instead I pass on my love of all things digital.

I took the children to our regular food hang out the other day, (For the record – illegal jacks lothian road, brilliant food, atmosphere and free wifi- it’s our Central Perk!) and experienced a proud moment. My 9 year old daughter got excited and reminded me about checking in on Foursquare.  We then had a conversation about Mayorships and my son began discussing a friends current mayorship battle. He said he was on our friends side at the moment in gaining the Mayorship of the place but as soon as he was old enough to get Foursquare, he was going all out to gain the title!

It was a fun, easy conversation and I noticed the way they had bought into the concept. Just like that.

They got the game element, they got the fun factor of gaining mayorships and as a Foursquare LOVER I was smiling inside. Of course they are not allowed it, just as they are not allowed facebook, (blog to follow on my views on that soon), but with the news of facebook changing it’s location based features after a year of places not really taking off. I recently read this article saying location based technology could be a thing of the past, I think the opposite. With an insight and an ear to the ground, is Foursquare just a bit ahead of it’s time? Only my digital friends actively use Foursquare, the others do not ‘get’ it and with little or no uptake from businesses in the UK there are no incentives for them to even try. They are not interesting in playing for playings sake.

People born after 1970 have been labelled ‘The Gaming Generation’ but I think that title is misplaced. While our generation dabbled with Mario and Luigi jumping up blocks dodging mushrooms, these guys are managing full scale army troops in Halo and Call of Duty.  They truly are ‘The Gaming Generation’, we just got the pitch ready for them.

I am , by my own admissions not a gamer, I am not a fan, (though I do have a very nice patch of horticulture down in Farmville way) a concept I liked about foursquare was that the game came offline and made it all very social and the future generation get this concept and will embrace it.

I immediately loved Foursquare, I am a competitive person and love to gain points, doesn’t always happen I hasten to admit. I believe it has a great role to market business. services, bands etc you name it I am pretty sure I can find you a way to use it, it’s the ultimate customer loyalty system.

Most underage users of facebook use it to chat to their friends and play the games, reinforcing the gaming and social aspect of their lives. These are the Foursquare users of the future who will ‘get’ it and if businesses are clever and really start to pay attention to it now, they can only benefit.

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