announced a partnership today that will attempt to link Foursquare's users with viewers of Bravo. New features will offer badges and special prizes when Foursquare users check in at locations featured in Bravo TV shows.Foursquare and Bravo
The location-based social networking service is barely a year old, but has already become one of the most popular in a booming sphere. Just last week, we heard rumors that Facebook was the latest in a line of big-time players getting on the location-based check-in wagon. Just last month, Yelp announced it was adding location-based check-ins to its service, causing many to wonder how the move would affect Foursquare.
Starting today, Foursquare has begun offering new badges when its users visit one of more than 500 locations featured in Bravo shows, including "The Real Housewives," "The Millionaire Matchmaker," "Top Chef," "Kell on Earth," "Top Chef Masters" and "Shear Genius." In addition to these badges, Foursquare is now offering tips on restaurants, salons and other businesses from the stars of Bravo's TV shows. The partnership puts Foursquare, which many had seen previously as a just-for-geeks type of app, directly in the sights of prime time viewers.
As the Bits Blog points out, this partnership will put Bravo and Foursquare on the forefront of attempts to merge mobile with TV, a direction that has proven difficult so far. The service does, however, seem custom tailored to Bravo's programming, which focuses on fashion, food, and the out-on-the-town section of society.
"With Foursquare people leave content behind for others to find, like tips of the best drink at a bar," said Dennis Crowley, Foursquare's chief executive, in Bits. "With shows that are tied to real locations in real cities enhancing this with content from contestants and judges on Top Chef or another Bravo show is going to make it even more interesting."
We're left wondering how Foursquare's current user base will react to this move. Do they really want "Bravolebreties", as Foursquare has dubbed them, suggesting drinks? Or was it the homegrown, user-created flavor that they liked about the service?
In the end, it may not really matter. The move may serve to distinguish the service from the increasing number of competitors while attracting a whole new user base and solidify Foursquare's presence in the location-based check-in sphere. While the service may have become popular among the techie crowd, a partnership with a major cable network may vault Foursquare into a whole new level - the in-crowd.