President Barack Obama is the newest member to the social networking service known as “Foursquare.”
Foursquare is a mobile service that allows users to share their location with friends. Users can also earn points and badges for checking-in frequently to areas and with enough points become “mayor” of that area.
The White House Blog stated Obama would use Foursquare to highlight places he visits and what he does while travelling through the Midwest on his economic bus tour. Within days, the White House page on foursquare had attracted more than 25,000 followers.
Foursquare is just the latest venture into social media for Obama, as he is already on other social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In fact, during his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama relied heavily on the Internet and social media for organizing, fund-raising and communicating with voters, and he is expected to expand on that successful strategy during his 2012 re-election bid.
Foursquare was pleased to have the president as a member. “We’re obviously overjoyed,” spokesman Jon Steinback stated. Steinback noted that the president could drive a lot of new users to Foursquare. “He brings a massive online following.”
Other elected officials such as Newark Mayor Cory Booker have beaten the president to the location-based service, and other political candidates are believed to be setting up accounts as well.
To follow the president, go to https://foursquare.com/whitehouse. If you try a “Barack Obama” search on the app, you won’t get the president — but you will pull up a man in Salt Lake City and another person in London.
Like any other social media application, Foursquare is entertaining and useful, but if used incorrectly it can breach personal security and privacy. SecurityOrb.com recommends:
- Make sure you are aware of your followers.
- Be mindful when “checking-in” while on vacation.
- Do not “check-in” while at your bank — you do not want scammers and identity thieves to know where you do your banking.
- Do not add your home address in Foursquare.
- Do not make your “check-ins” publicly available.
You can “check-in” to any Foursquare venue and still collect points without ever showing your specific location to your Foursquare friends by using the “off-the-grid” option.