Foursquare just released a new version of its mobile application for sharing your location with friends — including a new feature that should make the app a much bigger presence in users’ lives. Taking advantage of new options in the iPhone’s operating system, Foursquare 1.3 includes push notification, delivering a message whenever your friends check in at a new location whether you’re using the app or not.
New York City-based Foursquare is run by the same team that created Dodgeball, a location-based social-networking service that was acquired and then neglected by Google. The concept is pretty simple — whenever you arrive at a new location, you “check in,” and your friends get to see where you are. You also win points for things like visiting new places and checking into multiple spots on one trip. Until now, however, you have to turn on the app to see what your friends are doing, so if you’re not checking in yourself, you probably don’t see what your friends are doing. With push notification (which some users have been playing with already, but which just went live for the general public in the App Store), you’ll see check-ins as soon as your friends make them.
As a Foursquare user, this is the first push roll out that I’m really excited about. It has the potential to make Foursquare an even more integral part of my social life. This might also make some users feel like it’s necessary to share their Foursquare check-ins on other social services like Twitter.
Of course, there are risks for overload too, especially if you have many friends on the service or have one friend who just won’t stop checking in. But Foursquare includes controls for turning push notifications off for certain users, or just turning it off completely. And for someone like me, who is much more careful about who I connect with on a location-based service (compared to connections on a sites like Facebook or Twitter), that shouldn’t be a problem.
[image via Jacob Mullins]
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