Today I received an email from Foursquare informing me that I just won a gift from Bravo TV, a division of NBC Universal, for being one of the first 10 Foursquare users to unlock the Bravo TV Newbie Badge. Bravo TV even chimed in confirming this gift by sending me a tweet via Twitter that read “Congrats @chriscredendino for being among the first to unlock the Bravo Newbie Badge on @foursquare – Enjoy your special gift from Bravo.” Although I have no idea what gift I will be receiving, I’m just happy to be included in the circle of winners.
Twitter has just announced a new profile preview feature they are rolling out called “Hovercards.” Hovercards are cards that display additional information about an individual when you hover over a username or avatar in your timeline and will also allow you to interact with the individual without having to navigate away from your Twitter Web page. Hovercards will display basic information about an individual such as their location and whether or not you follow them. However, there is an expanded view of the card that will display their Web site, bio, latest tweet, number of tweets, number of people they follow, number of people that follow them, lists, and a dropdown menu of options. According to the announcement posted on Twitter’s blog, the new feature was developed to make it a simple process for users to access individual’s profile information without having to spend time visiting their profile page. If you access Twitter via Twitter.com then this new feature should make your experience a lot easier when you are interested in gathering information about another Twitter user.
This new feature is being rolled out in stages over time so it is not active for all Twitter users yet. Keep in mind that this feature is only useful if you are using Twitter.com.
It appears Foursquare has landed yet another media partner, but this time it’s not a newspaper, instead it’s the major cable TV network Bravo. According to the New York Times’ Bits blog, Foursquare and Bravo TV, a division of NBC Universal, will announce a new partnership today that will allow users to unlock Bravo-themed badges when they visit more than 500 Bravo-tagged venues and also have the opportunity to win prizes. Bravo is currently in the process of leaving tips and tagging venues on Foursquare that relate to some of their shows such as “The Real Housewives,” “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” “Top Chef,” “Top Chef Masters,” “Shear Genius,” and “Kell on Earth.” These shows will be incorporated into the gaming aspect of Foursquare which uses the real world as a backdrop.
Foursquare Co-Founder, Dennis Crowley, told the New York Times:
Have you kicked around the pros and cons about whether or not to accept friend requests on Foursquare? When you receive a friend request from someone you know in real life it’s probably a no brainer to accept their request, but if the request is from someone you only know from other social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or perhaps FriendFeed then you might want to think twice about accepting the request. I’m not suggesting that you should never accept a friend request from someone you met through social media, I am only suggesting that you choose wisely and always remember that the person behind that cute and fuzzy avatar might not be who you think they are in real life.
While Foursquare is a lot like other social media sites in that it is a great way to facilitate connections, keep in mind that it is a location-based service and using such a service will leave a digital trail of your every move. Granted, location-based social media is a lot of fun and it is becoming quite popular these days, but there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to your privacy. For starters, when you use location-based service apps you are forfeiting your privacy to gain a social media experience. You need to ask yourself if removing the online privacy layer is really worth it to you. You see, location-based apps such as Foursquare use your smartphone’s GPS to get your approximate location so you can view a list of nearby venues and check-in. However, when you check-in to a venue, the Foursquare app broadcasts your location to all the friends you accepted on Foursquare. This could be a potential problem for users if they don’t know who is monitoring their location so this is why you need to choose your friends wisely. Some might argue that linking Foursquare to Twitter and Facebook is no different than accepting friend requests from strangers. While there is some truth to this argument, the difference is that you get to choose when you want to broadcast your Foursquare check-ins to Twitter and Facebook. Unless you choose “Off the Grid” within your Foursquare app, all your friends on Foursquare will see your check-ins regardless if you update your status on Twitter and Facebook.