Location-based mobile social network, Foursquare, is just about ready to launch version 1.3 of its iPhone application which will include Push Notifications.
Just recently enabled by Apple with its 3.0 OS update, Push Notifications ping your iPhone if someone is attempting to contact you from an application that isn’t opened on your phone. Prior to the feature, LBS networks such as Foursquare were a bit of a pain to use for many users because unless they remained open, they were useless. Once the new Foursquare app is released, you’ll know which places your friends have checked in at regardless of whether the app is open. Of course, you’ll still need to open it if you want to respond or check in somewhere yourself.
As Techcrunch’s MG Siegler (who broke the news) points out though, not everyone will be impressed with this new feature. The idea of everyone knowing where you are at all times causes discomfort for the privacy wary, regardless of whether they’ve chosen to share that information or not. Foursquare does provide the ability to toggle Push Notifications on and off for each friend though. It just remains to be seen if functioning Push Notifications will be the default choice in the new app.
One other thing I like about Push Notifications for a social networking app like Foursquare is that for many users, the relationship choices they make will become more meaningful. Unlike the conscious or subconscious effort to jack up our Twitter and Facebook friend numbers for whatever psychological, emotional or strategic reason, having too many Foursquare followers all pinging your phone constantly will quickly become a nuisance. Hopefully this will result in people engaging with fewer people, but in a more meaningful and real-world way. That’s not necessarily the best for Foursquare from a scaling perspective, but it does put it in a position to be a location-based social network that encourages real-world social connections around the places people love. Iphone foursquare push.
Unfortunately for me, up here smack dab in the middle of the Great White North (also known as Winnipeg, Canada), Foursquare isn’t an option, similar to most of the other popular location-based social networks. But for those in the United States living in Foursquare-compatible cities, Foursquare version 1.3 will be available in the App Store soon for free.