It looks like Harvard may turn out to be the epicenter of all things from the social web. Urban legend has it that it was there that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg borrowed discussed developed the true beginnings of today’s social networking giant. Now foursquare has struck a deal with the school to have a ‘branded’ version of the product.
Foursquare has been busy cutting deals as of late that range from business applications to good causes. The deal with Harvard is interesting for sure as TechCrunch elaborates
Harvard is the first university to use Foursquare to help its students explore the campus, the school notes today in its paper. Foursquare has set up a special Harvard page on the site that includes a special logo, and a series of tips. If you follow this special account, you’ll be able see and contribute to all the tips for the school involving the various venues on campus.
“We believe that Harvard’s participation will allow our community to engage with friends, professors, and colleagues in new ways. We also hope visitors and neighbors will benefit from the platform as it grows through use,” Harvard’s digital director of communications tells the schools’ paper. The paper explains how students can earn mayor badges by checking-in to venes, and earn points by leaving these tips. Foursquare apparently made a special Harvard Yard badge to mark the partnership. Students that check-in a certain number of places on campus will see it.
You can see where something like this is heading from a revenue standpoint. The more that foursquare becomes ingrained in the community of Harvard or any other affinity group the more likely it is to be sold as a marketing vehicle to that audience. Of course, there is fear that marketing and advertising might ruin the fun but I think we are all getting over this free nonsense. Free is a beautiful entrée (entrance not meal) into markets but it doesn’t pay the bills or the payroll in the long run.
I would love to hear from our readers about how they use / interact with foursquare because I will be honest I have never used the service. I am not the right demographic and that’s more than fine with me. As a marketer, however, it doesn’t matter whether I use it or not. It only matters that I understand what value is derived by foursquare’s users. Heck, if we had to all be full-on users of every tool out there in order to be ‘legit’ no one would get any work done.
So you foursquare fanatics check in and give us your location opinion.