I admit it.  I didn’t think Foursquare would last.  I didn’t even think it was a particularly good idea.  Why?  Checking in to let people know where you are?  Aside from family and a close friend or two, is it anybody’s business where I happen to be?  Do I want folks knowing how often I may be shopping for a Blu-Ray and where my other secret contacts are located?  No.  Furthermore, if someone who knows where you live sees you’re somewhere that will take you a while to get back home, are you not inviting yourself to get robbed?  Those fears aside, which apparently few people share, Foursquare flourished.  And it appears they’ve gotten so popular that American Express is now offering discounts if you use Foursquare to check in at certain businesses.

True or False?

Oddly enough, true.  We’ve gone from checking in to going through the check out at places like H&M, Sports Authority, Union Square Cafe and Blue Smoke.  Those last two are in NYC, so perhaps you’ll want to look for future discounts at the airlines if you plan on saving some money in a New York eatery.  Now, what kinds of discounts will be offered?  How does a $10 credit for spending $75 at H&M sound?  Even better, how about a $20 reward for spending $50 at Sports Authority?  Even I have to admit that the last one isn’t a bad deal at all.

This could just be the beginning of a beautiful friendship depending on how many people participate in the new endeavor.  It may also give Foursquare an additional nudge, keeping them safe from the other Internet big boys who’d like to see them gone or absorbed into their own entities.

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