Will Location Checkins Change Social Networking?

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This post isn’t so much a declaration as an observation.

With the success of location aware tools like Foursquare and Gowalla and the looming rush to grab this space by Twitter and Facebook, I wonder if there’s an evolution in the works.

twitter places

Here’s my observation. It’s easy to friend and follow perfect strangers on social networks. Some of these even develop into business contacts, partners and customers, but most go nowhere and some may even turn into minor annoyances. But, when Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and every minor player start baking location check-ins into the mix, will you be choosier about friending and following and giving your exact specific location to thousands of unknown folks?

My guess is that these services will need to develop layers of settings, but that’s yet to be seen. I know I think twice about accepting follow requests on Foursquare. Again, I’m as social as the next person, but not ready to let folks I don’t know have access to the hotel I’m staying at this week. It will be interesting to see how this space develops. Mature players like Twitter might actually have trouble adding this feature unless it’s selective.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this.


Foursquare, twitter

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