Foursquare for Universities could reward check-ins

Katherine Wade

A new WKU partnership may offer rewards to students, faculty and staff who visit areas on campus.

WKU has partnered with Foursquare for Universities, the higher education arm of Foursquare, said Corie Martin, creative web services manager.

Foursquare is a “location-based mobile platform.” By “checking in” via a smartphone app or text message, users share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges, according to Foursquare’s website. There are more than 8 million users worldwide, and an average of 2.5 million check-ins per day.

The Foursquare application can be downloaded onto any smartphone device.
Martin said WKU has officially claimed more than 100 venues, including all the academic buildings, administration buildings and food establishments on campus.

“We’re hoping it creates some buzz across campus,” she said. “And it could help prospective students see what’s going on around WKU.”

In addition to social networking, Martin said there are many other benefits to Foursquare — including the rewards that come with using it.

Martin was at a car wash recently when she decided to check in to the area using Foursquare. She was rewarded with $2 off her car wash, just for using the service.

“It’s really cool to find specials like that around,” she said.

Martin said administrators are hoping to partner with the WKU Restaurant and Catering Group and the WKU Store to offer some incentives for students to use the service. For example, if you check in five or 10 times to an area, you could get a discount or something free.

Lacey Jackson, marketing and graphic artist for the WKU Store, said the store wants to be involved in the program.

“Anything new we can do to stay connected with our students is exciting,” she said.

She said the bookstore would probably offer promotions for first time check-ins, or for checking in a certain amount of times. But those services are still in the works.

Martin said WKU is hoping to have 2,500 students connected by the end of the next fall semester.

“It’s a really fun, useful tool,” she said. “And hopefully the campus community will think so too.”