Geolocation social media networks are becoming increasingly popular, with platforms like Foursquare reaching 7.5 million users this year. First debuted in 2009, Foursquare is a geographical location-based social media network that adds a gaming aspect to checking into locations with a points and badge system. The new version of Foursquare includes an “Explore” feature customized to your friend’s favorite places and your own check-in history.
Now the social media platform has pulled out all the stops with near-field communication (NFC) technology. Using NFC, you simply tap your phone against a designated marker to check in with Foursquare. Foursquare is testing this technology at its headquarters in New York and also rolled it out at Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, that took place in San Francisco earlier this week. Google placed NFC markers on posters all over the San Francisco Moscone Center, and users tapped their smartphones against the posters to check in and receive a Google I/O badge on Foursquare.
Near-field communication is typically available on newer Android phones such as the Nexus S. Although still in testing, NFC is bound to be seen in months to come, and more and more phones are expected to come with NFC capability. It is rumored that the iPhone 5 will come with NFC technology. By reducing hurdles and making the user experience easier, NFC gives users one more reason to participate in geolocation social media. The future of social media check-ins lies in near-field communication as it will usher in a new era of location-based apps and services.