Foursquare, the digital equivalent of carving “I wuz here” on the walls of New York’s healthiest restaurants and most excellent nightlife venues, is cultivating a userbase of mega-narcissists. (Like all social media, let’s be fair.) Now Foursquare users who accumulate more than 1,000 “friends” get an email of congratulations (“You’re pretty popular”) which explains that their accounts have been converted to celebrity status and 90 percent of their “friends” will become “followers.”
The change adds a level of privacy for social media celebrities. “Friends” on Foursquare are Facebook-style, one-to-one connections, where both parties love each other equally; “followers” have a Twitter-esque status, where they can see the celebrity’s public check-ins, but the celebrity, i.e. you or Mario Batali, can control what followers see and will not be bothered with the whereabouts of fans. “Followers can see your photos, shouts, and check-ins (that you’ve shared with them), but NOT comments from your friends,” Foursquare explains. Foursquare keeps your first 100 friends as friends and demotes the rest to followers, although you can upgrade anyone you want.
ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries