White House joins Foursquare

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Foursquare and seven years ago

Mobile marketing craze Foursquare has welcomed its most high-profile user to date.

A White House Foursquare page has been created on the location-based mobile platform to coincide with the launch of President Obama's bus tour, as part of the administration's efforts to reengage with grassroots voters. There are more than 10 million Foursquare users worldwide, and they will now be able to discover where the president is, learn more about the White House and check in when they visit the building or attend one of Obama's town hall meetings in the coming weeks.

Barack Obama just checked in

Confirmation of the White House's involvement represents a massive publicity coup for Foursquare, which has been heavily promoting the news on its homepage and via its social media channels. This is expected to have a knock-on effect on uptake of the service. More than 500,000 businesses already have a presence on Foursquare and many of these, including Domino's Pizza and Starbucks, offer rewards or 'specials' to active customers.

Kleon West, business development manager at theEword, said: "Having lived in America, I'm in no doubt that US companies will flock to Foursquare now that it has received the presidential seal of approval. This is bound to encourage British businesses to get involved as well, further enhancing the appeal of Foursquare's mobile marketing proposition."

The White House has been an enthusiastic supporter of many web 2.0 innovations. In 2008, social media was widely credited for boosting Obama's campaign in the presidential race. Scott Goodstein, external online director for election campaign group Obama for America, subsequently gave a landmark speech on how social media helped Obama.