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Foursquare Updates Friends with Your Location in Real Time

Does Foursquare Equal Overshare?

I recently realized that my days spent planning an evening out with friends seem to be fewer and far between. Our ability to stay in constant communication with each other via text, Twitter, Facebook, and more means there's no need to plan ahead. Instead I find myself saying, "Just text me when you get there," and creating our plan on the fly.

The latest addition to the ever-growing lists of constant-contact facilitators is Foursquare, recently profiled by The New York Times. Users of the social networking site can share their current location with friends in real time. The free service is designed for use on the go, and in addition to its web-based presence has BlackBerry and iPhone applications available for download. To read how Foursquare works and to share your thoughts,


The service is based on check-ins: when you arrive at a location (a restaurant, store, bus stop, wherever), you "check in," disclosing your location to friends. Check-ins earn you points; a series of check-ins at certain places (three places with a photo booth or 50 unique venues, for example) earn you coveted merit badges. Add tips and to-do lists with any location, and read other Foursquare users' tips and lists when checking into a new place. This isn't a new concept — Foursquare founders built the idea from Dodgeball, a now-defunct service that used SMS messaging to alert friends of your whereabouts. And services like Latitude and Loopt provide similar location-based services.


Foursquare launched in March and is now available in 35 cities from New York to Vancouver to London.

Do you use Foursquare? Do you think it encourages oversharing, or is it a helpful way to keep tabs on friends?

Join The Conversation
BuffBabe6108 BuffBabe6108 7 years
I think at first it can encourage overshare with many users as they Twitter/Facebook their locations to all of their friends which can be spammy since many users overlap. However I have been using Foursquare since they released it at SXSW in March and I love being able to see where friends are. Most of us have stopped sharing our locations via Twitter, except in the cases where we want to encourage our Twitter friends (who may not be on Foursquare) to come and join us. Other apps I use are Brightkite and Gowalla which are similar and can achieve the same results. My mother has been concerned that I am oversharing to people I don't know, but I am careful about where I check in and who I send that information to. I do not ever check in at my house or at other peoples houses (unless they encourage that). If you are smart and understand where this information is being posted and who has access to it then I think it is fine. Problems arise from people who do not fully understand how it works.
gluegun gluegun 7 years
I am totally anti-foursquare. I remember trying to get all my friends to sign up for dodgeball and that flopped.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
My husband is a Foursquare fanatic and it drives me nuts. Everywhere we go, he has to "check in"!!
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
I've never heard about this service but I do know about Google's Latitude and Loopt. Plus there are some Twitter apps that let you show your location. I think that this is crossing the line. Unless you're specifically trying to meet up with someone.
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