Foursquare asks users to share their real-time locations, which means that as it’s grown, some of the more avid ones have been voluntarily telling thousands of people where they are. In my opinion, such an intimate service is best used with people you actually know, but Foursquare is deviating from its core of one-to-one relationships today to create the notion of “Celebrity Mode.” The feature comes through a partnership with MTV and VH1 (s VIA.B), one of many Foursquare has signed in recent months. It’s a direct parallel to Twitter, where celebrity users lead the way (and the reason so many companies are signing these Foursquare deals seems likely to be because they don’t want to miss the next Twitter).
Foursquare is now trying to have it both ways, offering one-to-one friend relationships (where both users must confirm to be connected) as well as one-to-many follower relationships (where users can get updates from any public profile they like). Facebook also straddles this line with its fan pages for brands and celebrities.
DJ Pauly D of “Jersey Shore” will be the first to use Foursquare’s modified celebrity mode, which promises his followers access only to his tips left at certain locations — aka “the best fist-pumping spots nationwide.” He can choose to send each check-in to only his inner circle or to both his friends and followers. Users who don’t happen to be nearby Pauly D’s location can go to his profile on Foursquare’s web site to check out what he shares publicly. You’d think they’d have awarded him an in-game badge or two just for playing along, but no, his profile reports, “DJ Pauly D hasn’t unlocked any badges yet.”
MTV says the deal will also include “dedicated Foursquare programming” and location-based sponsorship, with integration into other reality shows such as “The Hills” and “The T.O. Show.”
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