I discovered from a post on Techcrunch today that I am ranked #8 on the newly released Top Foursquare User list by Osnapz. When I saw that I was within the top 10 "most friended" users on on Foursquare I was definitely surprised because Foursquare to date hasn't provided friend count stats on user profiles. They measure and display a lot of other statistics on user profiles like number of check-in's, badges, mayorships, etc., but not friends. I was never sure why they didn't show a friend count on profiles, but I imagine it is because they wanted to encourage and reward users for their participation rather than popularity (which is what Twitter does by only displaying following and follower stats on user profiles rather than any kind of real engagement metric).

With that said, since I started on Foursquare I have had a few debates with other Foursquare users about the fact that I accept every Foursquare invite I receive, no matter if I know who they are or not. I always understood the argument against accepting friend requests from people you don't know. Foursquare is a platform for users to inform their friends where they are hanging out and compete with each other for the most number badges, which signifies who is the most adventurous out of the group.

Although I respect why most people restrict their Foursquare network to real life friends, I've always looked at it differently. I like to use Foursquare when I am out socializing and crusin' around NYC as a way to help me connect in real life, with both the people I know very well, and people I don't know well at all (yet). When investing so much time into digital relationships, it's a unique opportunity to be able to tell my close friends where I am at, and at the same time unexpectedly meet others that I likely would have never connected or had a real life conversation with. 

Also, as Foursquare expands to more cities and countries, the opportunity when traveling to meetup with and learn from your Foursquare friends who live there can make an unknown city a friendly, local experience. As soon as you switch cities on Foursquare, you can see what the locals are doing and where the most checked-in hangouts are.

I've had lots of people tell me that sharing my location publicly, with people that are practically strangers, is weird and creepy. But they also said similar things about Twitter in the beginning, and look what Twitter has done to change the way millions of people connect, communicate and learn from each other. And although at first it feels awkward, there is nothing better than turning a stranger into a friend.

Topfoursquareuserlist

About Julia Roy

8 Comments

  • Kevin Norman says:

    Totally agree with you, Julia. Great post!

  • Though I would think they would have to factor in number of check ins and mayorships as well..

  • I agree – ambient updates from friends are better than checking in with all of them. Going to other cities where you already have friends tips loaded up makes a ton of sense.

  • GuruOfSales says:

    eye,in a way, I still lean towards brightkite more, however, I have to say that I am more connected with real life friends on fs. Nice post :-)

  • nike shox says:

    I read your profile today and it was so good to me.i feel you are the only one missing in my entire life so i decided to stop on and let you know that i am interested to be a friend first.When the fight begins within himself, a man’s worth something

  • Rickbischoff says:

    …cool
    Have not heard of Foursquare,
    sounds a little like brightkite.
    …will check it out !!
    тнNχ!
    Digital Girl
    …peace☼

  • Dave Wakeman says:

    I actually looked at this and found it quite interesting that I was so highly ranked on the FourSquare ratings too.
    While I agree that it is nice to turn strangers into friends, I haven’t been able to do as an effective a job as I would have liked so far.

  • Dave Doolin says:

    There’s this assumption people make that “Everyone should be how I am.”
    I do like foursquare. Some people don’t.
    A lot of the “don’ts” seem to feel it’s their bounden duty to inform us that they
    1. Don’t use foursquare, and
    2. We (that do) shouldn’t either.
    Frankly, I’d pay a little money for the app if it made “don’ts” go away.
    Coming in from twitter @unmarketing. booyah.

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