We’ve been checking in one way or another our entire lives—with mom after we make it to our friend’s house on our bike—with our college study group partners on our gathering place—with our colleagues for after work meetings or happy hours.
Social media has elevated check-in status to a whole new level with mobile apps like Foursquare and Yelp and Facebook’s simple check-in button. Now, everyone can know where we are at all times with the push of a button. This may be a scary thought, but checking-in can be a positive, useful tool.
Checking in via Facebook probably is the easiest route to take, and friends can be “tagged” if they are with you in that location. It’s a great way to let friends know where you are and where they can meet up with you. A word of advice when tagging friends—ask first. In today’s day and age of little to no privacy, some people simply don’t want that kind of detection.
Foursquare was developed in 2009 and allows users to check in to certain venues via mobile devices. Foursquare takes things a bit further, as you can indicate exactly where you are inside of a building. Users also can add tips to the venue check in for other users to read. Did you have a great meal at your latest restaurant check in? Tell your friends about it on the spot. Earned badges and points for checking into venues and mayorship for most check ins at a venue add a game element to Foursquare.
Yelp, rating and review site is a useful consumer tool when looking for a rating or recommendation in your area. If you want your voice to be heard loud and clear when checking in, Yelp is the way to go. And, users can make restaurant reservations ahead of time via Yelp, adding even another convenience factor to mobile access.
Remember, when checking in, a certain amount of privacy is lifted. Use checking in and rating and review power responsibly.