“I’m with Foursquare and we’re big fans of CampInteractive and big supporters of things that they’re doing,” smiled Naveen Selvadurai, the co-founder of Foursquare, the innovative smartphone application that awards users virtual points and badges for “checking-in” at physical venues worldwide.
Selvadurai was out on May 7th to celebrate the Carbon NYC’s Spring Awakening Charity Gala in honor of Camp Interactive’s 10th Anniversary, the not-for-profit organization that empowers inner-city youth through outdoors immersion and the creative power of technology. The Foursquare co-founder was on hand to present awards at the exclusive 500 guest soiree at Center 548 which featured celebrations of contemporary urban art, music, and dance in support of CampInteractive.
NGB caught up with Naveen Selvadurai and found he has much to celebrate as well. May 8th marked the 2009 internet start-up’s release of Foursquare 3.0 as well as surpassing 8 million registered users for the interactive, location-based social networking site. “It helps people find out where their friends are in the city and to discover and see the city through different eyes. It’s a mobile social network… It’s a little like a social city guide… it’s a little like a Twitter… all in one piece,” said Selvadurai.
Geo-location technology is arguably one of the fastest growing and most-hyped frontiers within social networking today, and Selvadurai and partner Dennis Crowley are certainly at the center of its exploration. The company has grown 8-fold since just this time last year, giving users an incredible opportunity to better navigate the cities and towns they call home. “It takes the 5000 places that I’ve already been, and it says ‘Go try this place, I think you’re really going to like it,” said Selvadurai.
Foursquare has grown exponentially magnetic to companies seeking to better influence location-based advertising, from HBO and Zagat to Bravo and many more, ultimately allowing users to earn valuable rewards by checking into restaurants, hotels, and retailers they feature.
“What we see is that businesses want to reward their best customers, so we’re taking all this check-in data, and using it in new, interesting, and relative ways,” Selvadurai told NGB.
The web and mobile apps allow registered users to connect with friends and update their locations, gaining points for “checking-in” at various venues. Users can choose to have their check-ins posted on their accounts on Twitter, Facebook, or both. Currently, Foursquare has applications for iPhone, Symbian, Android, webOS, Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry, with multiple other apps in development stages.
“Anyone in the world, in any city, can use this to talk about their neighborhood,” smiled Selvadurai. Foursquare is headed into exciting arenas this year as it continues to explore the frontiers of community development and geo-location applications.