Dennis Crowley wants Foursquare to “change and drive” the behavior of its users. The Foursquare founder and CEO just delivered his keynote address at the UBM TechWeb / O’Reilly Web 2.0 Expo at the Sheraton Hotel, and that’s what he kept saying. He reiterated his long-held belief that Foursquare’s game mechanics can and do incentivize people to not only check-in but actually make decisions about where they go and how they spend their time. Though some may dismiss the Foursquare game as “Pokemon for adults,” Crowley said, the fact is that there are people out there who will go to the gym more in order to get the Foursquare “gym rat” badge.
Though he spent a few minutes talking about Foursquare’s API — the thing that allows third party developers to build new applications and services on top of the Foursquare platform — he said with confidence toward the end of his talk that “what’s really interesting is the stuff we’re cooking up internally.”
What they’re cooking up, Crowley said, is new and better ways to make recommendations (go here! do this!) based on users’ check-in history and other data, like what a user’s friends have been doing.
With the exception of a few words regarding branded badges, Crowley did not say much during his talk about advertisers, who would presumably be very interested in a service that successfully tells people what they should be doing.