Foursquare and Twitter: Do You Really Enjoy Foursquare Tweets?

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Are you a Foursquare user yet?  If not, you should be.  If you believe in the power of Windmill Networking and being able to physically meet contacts in your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter networks, Foursquare helps facilitate this in real-time at a physical location.  iPhone, Android and Blackberry users should be especially keen on joining and utilizing the real-time-real-location social networking platform because of the phone applications that exists for these popular smartphone platforms.

Foursquare is a simple way to “check in” to a location and to broadcast to the world that you are there.  Other users can then see that you checked in in real-time and decide whether or not they want to visit you while you are at that location.  Of course, there are other ways of using Foursquare, like telling your friends about the latest and coolest location that you found.  But the idea behind a geo-location service like Foursquare is to find (other people) and be found (by other people) in real-time at an actual physical location.

Foursquare has spread virally since it’s inception because they made it easy for you to 1) login with your Facebook connections and 2) connect your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts to broadcast to the world every time you check in to a new location.  This is the root of the potential problem: do you really want to fill your Tweets and Facebook Wall up with broadcasts of where you’re at all the time?

Twitter has progressed a great deal in the past several months.  If you are on Twitter and have found use for it, you already understand that not everyone on Twitter is talking about what they had for breakfast today.  If you are seriously tweeting and trying to make friendships as well as sharing information, chances are you avoid mentioning tweets that no one is interested in to begin with.  Remember, Twitter is about having meaningful communication and sharing relevant information…unless you are a foodie or really DO want to know what someone had for breakfast, you probably don’t mention these things in your tweets.

If you buy into my argument this far, you can see why I personally don’t enjoy Foursquare tweets.  Think about it: just as nobody cared about what you ate for breakfast, I don’t think that people on Twitter care that you are “checking in” to your local Trader Joe’s.  If I am out and want to find someone to hook up with for a cup of coffee and conversation, I’ll check to see where my friends are at on my iPhone through the dedicated Foursquare application.

I don’t want my tweets flooded with real-time location updates from my Foursquare friends.  And I’m not the only one.  Just doing a Google search for “block foursquare twitter” will yield a lot of results, including this tweet from someone who echoes my sentiments:

The funny thing is I feel like I am in the minority on this one.  One of my good friends who I met on Twitter yet have been unable to physically meet in person, Perri Gorman (also known on Twitter as “@BeTheButterfly“), recently wrote a great blog post on Foursquare.  At the end of the post she asked a few power users, including myself, as to how we felt about these “location tweets.”  Of the seven people who commented, I was the only one who disliked them.  In fact, and you can quote me, I said,

“They should be banned. I promised my Twitter followers I would never tweet a Foursquare location and they should call me on it if I ever do!”

So there you have it.  Now that I’ve completed my rant, what do YOU think about these tweets on Twitter?  For or against?  Am I missing something here?   Please do let me and all of my readers know!

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer


Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness & @socialtoolssmmt | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker
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  1. says

    Those tweets themselves can be a way to connect with new people, so as long as one adds sthg useful to the check-in and doesn't leave it 'blank' (I'm at…) + people are more often on Twitter than 4sq.

  2. says

    You bring up a good point on commenting with your check-in. This does add a little more value to the check-in tweet itself, but I would rather connect with new people on the Foursquare application itself if I am out and about. When I am looking at Twitter I am definitely in a different mode.

  3. says

    Interesting point, Neal.

    Since LinkedIn announced its functionality to share Twitter status updates with contacts, I had somewhat the same reaction. All of a sudden connections shared a minute by minute report of their daily lives. Which most of the time, I do not find appropriate on a channel as businesslike as LI. Other channels, as Facebook, are more suitable for that. Or perhaps, one should create an extra account on Twitter especially for detailed personal stuff (e.g. I'm drinking a Chai tea, or: Renting a movie now)?

    But on the other hand, I think everyone scans their incoming tweets quickly enough to focus on the interesting ones 😉

  4. says

    Hey Rozalinde,

    Thanks for your comment and I feel the exact same way that you do concerning Tweets on LinkedIn. Automation programs like and integration efforts like the one between LinkedIn and Twitter as well as the entire OAuth and Facebook Connect technology platforms make it easy for us to blast our messages across multiple platforms. But, as you suggest, each platform has their own atmosphere and etiquette. I hope that those over-automating things will start to “see the light” soon! 😉

  5. says

    Hi Neal
    All what you say is valid – I don't think I'd like to see these Foursquare tweets every 2 sec because I'm guessing they'll be coming form many of your followers as well you would be inundated with rubbish I'm sure

  6. says

    It takes many things to start a conversation and it can be a simple” hey I see you are in Starbucks having a coffee right now” to did you enjoy your cheese sandwich for lunch.

    There is talk of engagement and listening on various social media platforms, and by tweeting locations etc conversations start easier and make person more human.

    Some twitter accounts are blasted for broadcasting, their updates are not about conversation but about being professional. How human would they become if they added their foursquare into the equation? How approachable are they now?

    As a courier and transport company, it's useful for customer who want to check where we are – if we are in London, will we drop in and say Hi?

    A lot of people assume that commenting about food on twitter is unprofessional – what if you are a chef? Very few people look at a bio and would know that. As twitter has had an influx of 'experts' and marketers yelling from the rafters “you're doing it wrong” and “do this not that” and “you'll lose followers if you speak about xxxxx” I wonder what the early adopters (pre 2008) actually think of whats going on? is it what they imagined twitter would become?

  7. tomhume says

    I find zero value in getting Foursquare tweets and agree with you it makes sense to use the application from time to time, but not tweet it. Aside from being an annoying, it also exposes someone to theft if they are away from their home, (I wrote about this in my blog earlier this month

  8. says

    Hi Sarah and thank you so much for your thought-provoking comment. Indeed, Twitter has been hijacked by marketers and companies just as LinkedIn was hijacked by recruiters and jobseekers. It is what it is. I am very comfortable with people tweeting on personal issues, as well as including location information which could, as you suggest, open up new avenues of communication with new people. The problem I have with Foursquare is that people are both overly-automating their usage (so that it announces EVERY check-in on Twitter) as well as using them in a way that I find slightly in appropriate (checking-in to a store less to meet friends there and more to try to become the Mayor and hope to get some benefit out of that). Foursquare is a great social networking platform which i love, and so is Twitter. And I like them for two different reasons. I just don't think what may be appropriate to tweet on Foursquare is always appropriate to tweet on Twitter and/or Facebook.


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