A groundbreaking deal between Bravo and Foursquare will merge the popular cable channel’s reality show stars with the popular game that has users all over the world checking in and earning badges.
Foursquare is the red-hot mobile application that uses game play, venue mayorships and special deals/discounts to turn place check-ins into a mobile adventure.
Foursquare co-creator/founder Dennis Crowley, who just announced the Bravo partnership Monday, joined local blogger Jenn Van Grove via Skype Tuesday to talk about the service and a major new primetime relationship that will expose the game to millions.
“It’s a big deal for us because we’ve kind of been the darling of the tech scene,” said Crowley. “I think the best thing for a tech start up is to break out and hit the mainstream audience. I think Bravo is really going to be able to help us with that.”
Personalities from Bravo’s reality shows -- Millionaire Matchmaker, Real Housewives, Shear Genius, Kell on Earth among others -- will offer tips on what they love about local check-in spots.
All this primetime attention may worry some Foursquare users who like the fact that it’s still possible to earn the mayorship at many spots but Van Grove thinks this is positive move.
By offering its advertisers Foursquare tie-ins, Bravo could ultimately help create more discounts for mayorships at restaurants, coffee shops and bars.
“Something that saves you money is going to be a net positive,” said Van Grove.
“The Bravo deal has the potential to take it to a whole new audience which is exciting for the company but I don’t see Foursquare making decisions that will alienate their core user base,” she said. “If anything, it will add contextual information about the fun things to do in your city.”
Yelp just released a new version of its iPhone app which includes check-ins. Even though the move is considered by some as a clear grab for Foursquare's market, Crowley said it's good for Foursquare.
“There are a lot of people in the friend finder space and the city guide space and we’ve definitely seen a lot of people copy our lead off in the game mechanics,” Crowley said. “If anything it gives us confirmation that what we’re doing is really interesting and people are finding it kind of fascinating.”