Foursquare vs. Facebook: Is location-based networking the next big thing?

Foursquare is looking to be the next big thing with the convenience of having one application on your iPhone for all your social networking needs, set to take off. It’s a location-based site entailing entering your location when you visit somewhere, like a bar, restaurant or club. You can then see info about it from friends that have been previously or just see what your Foursquare friends are doing.

You can even earn virtual merit badges for hitting certain locations. For instance if you visit four locations in one evening you can earn a “Crunked” badge, while seeking out 3 people of the opposite sex merits you with a “Player please!” badge. Another great feature is that if you become a regular visitor to a location you may be chosen to be the “Mayor” there.

Foursquare now has around half a million users and made a huge impression in the interactive section of the South by Southwest festival in Texas last year. This year it’s being talked about as the network to beat in the “location war”. Facebook and Twitter are aiming to compete by building their own location-based features, whilst Gowalla is quickly becoming popular.

The nerdy part of it all is that Foursquare may just win the battle because of the genius who thought up the idea of merit badges, with the next development being that you are now able to purchase real badges at the Nerd Merit Badges Website. For more on this story go to msnbc.com. Are you hooked on Foursquare yet, or maybe you’ll give it a try after reading our report? Who do you think might come out on top, Foursquare or Facebook. Let us know what you think.