The Wall Street Journal’s check-in to Times Square, last week, shifted the way location-based news services have been used up till then. After teaming up with Foursquare, the location-based news update service, the WSJ showed a new means of using the service, changing the perception of geo-targeted news.
Foursquare, which has been known mostly for food-related and fashion reviews, offered the WSJ the infrastructure to dispatch news about the evacuation of Times Square to those who are mostly concerned – the people who happened to be in Times Square the moment the news broke out.
Previously, users who followed a certain branded place or location, subscribed to get location-related information without having to specifically check-into the location through Foursquare. Location happened to be incidental information in a piece of news. However, what Foursquare enabled the WSJ to do was to check-in to the Times Square and alarm people about the evacuation – “Location” in this becomes the news. “Times Sqaure evacuation” is a noteworthy piece of news – no doubt; however, it was much more pertinent to those who are in Times Square rather than those who are not.
With twitter geo-tagging apps such as TrackinU and Facebook anticipated “places” feature, it will be interesting to see how the peer-to-peer location-based titan Foursquare takes the “location-based” news frenzy to the next level.