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Foursquare adds ‘expert’ partners

By Sarah Klein

New York Magazine recently linked up with budding social networking site Foursquare to provide followers with access to the magazine’s database of bar, restaurant, and store reviews.

Probably the most well-known of the “location-based” social networks, Foursquare allows users to “check in” when they get to work, when they’re at a restaurant, or when they’re grocery shopping – basically anywhere that has an address. The service notifies their Foursquare friends where they are, and allows the user to gather information and tips about their current location.

New York Magazine’s partnership with Foursquare provides access to a database of some 5,000 restaurants, 1,600 bars, and 5,500 stores. Instead of just reading the notes that other Foursquare friends have jotted down, users can now link to full New York Magazine reviews of nearby locations, which could include cheap eateries, new store openings, and even happy hour deals.

The arrangement has had an immediate impact, pushing New York Magazine’s Foursquare followers from around 7,000 two weeks ago to over 12,000 at the time of writing.

For Foursquare, forming partnerships with “expert” contributors is an obvious move, improving both the reach and quality of their reviews. Despite its early success, Foursquare has been labeled a social network for single, twenty-something bar-hoppers. Gaining recognition from partners like New York Magazine helps add a little more gravity to the still-evolving service.

Location-based social networking may not be for everyone. Granting people the ability to follow your every move can be a little unnerving. As on any social networking site, it’s best not to publically share your home address. Foursquare has the added danger that every time you check in somewhere, people know you’re not at home – a situation that some have suggested is like asking to be robbed.

But having access to reviews of locations in your immediate vicinity can be a helpful and entertaining experience. As long it’s used safely and thoughtfully, Foursquare is a great solution for on-the-go explorers.

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