Facebook, Instagram and many other apps utilize location-enabled data to find health services. Back in 2010 we blogged about Foursquare, the GPS-enabled mobile app that allows you to share your location with friends and others nearby when you “check-in” to places, including local HIV services and events. After almost 5 years, Foursquare has announced a major app makeover . Foursquare 8.0 is a reminder of the many tools that can be used to reach your target audience and provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the evolving ways to communicate messages of HIV testing and HIV/AIDS awareness. Here is an overview of Foursquare 8.0 and what location-enabled sharing can mean for the HIV community:
Location-enabled apps for HIV Awareness
For the HIV community, location-enabled apps, such as Foursquare, can be a more personalized way of recommending HIV service locations, treatment centers and testing locations. In addition to in-app recommendations, the ability to “check-in” to HIV/AIDS awareness and advocacy events can also be a great way to get people involved on social media. The concept of being able to explore what is around you from your mobile device is a feature of all location-enabled apps.
Our AIDS.gov Locator app uses location-enabled information to find nearby HIV testing and care sites. This tool allows patients and providers to use their mobile phone GPS to find testing and care sites near their current location or type in a ZIP code for another location.
We spoke with Sally Cherry a social media consultant and the webmaster of CHARE Project , a community HIV/AIDS resource exchange project. She told us, “The ‘new’ Foursquare allows me to connect and share interest-oriented info with friends and colleagues especially HIV prevention warriors.”
The New Foursquare: Foursquare 8.0
- The Function: Gone are the days of the Foursquare “check-in”. Foursquare recently split into two different apps – Swarm and Foursquare . The new version of Foursquare uses GPS-enabled location to recommend places. Foursquare’s spin-off app, Swarm, allows you to check in to places and see where your friends have checked in. Foursquare then uses that check-in data to recommend places.
- The Look: New colors. New logo. New user interface. Foursquare has completely changed its look and feel . The “F” flag logo and the blue and pink color scheme are just a few of the many changes made in the app’s redesign. After logging into the app, you will be asked to choose preferences for places you want to frequent. That preference information combined with your past check-in history and the check-in history of your Facebook friends will create customized recommendations featured in a horizontal bar at the top of the app.
As users get accustomed to the new version of Foursquare and other location-based apps, we will continue to monitor how the HIV community can use this tool. Stay tuned to our weekly Tuesday new media posts for the latest new media updates.
What are the uses of these apps in the response to HIV? Do you think being able to identify HIV-related services on Foursquare based on location can help our community? We love to hear from our readers! Share your thoughts in the comments below.