Social Networking Business Future: Access to real-time data

Social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter have been asking people to update everybody on “What’s on your mind?” and “What’s happening?” for a long time now. But the big question of 2010 in the digital world is: “Where are you?”

As reported by Emma Barnet at telegraph.co.uk, the new thing of 2010 is location-based services, thanks to Global Positioning Systems (GPS) being wired into our smartphones. This has of course pushed the boundaries of the information people now want to share.

And think of the business opportunities that can come from such growth. At the center of this new movement is 33-year old Dennis Crowley, who is the co-founder of Foursquare – which of course is the fastest growing location-based social network.

The service – which has more than two million users and is now valued at $95 million after just 16 months – allows users to share their current location with their friends, by “checking-in” at clubs, bars, restaurants, offices, and even railway stations.

Quite a few big businesses – such as The Wall Street Journal and Starbucks Coffee – have started getting in on the location-based service act, and have signed deals with Crowley. They then offer discounts or privileges, to their most loyal customers.

When speaking about the Foursquare service and the business prospective, Crowley said: “Businesses will have access to real-time data, about who is buying their products, how regularly and where those people are going right at that moment.”

You can read more here.