3.25.2015: 4sq + Twitter / Insta from above


Coming Soon: Tag Locations in Tweets, Powered by Foursquare

Location-sharing used to be a dedicated digital activity (think: early check-ins on Dodgeball or Foursquare; sharing the information in your Twitter or Facebook status). Now, it’s a passive layer on all sorts of digital content, from Tweets to posts to photos with location data built ino their metadata. Thanks to geolocation, any act of active sharing can be tied to a precise location or business. Now, two big-deal digital content companies are pairing up to make the experience even more precise. Twitter will use Foursquare data to allow users to tag Tweets with the names of specific places. This is perfect for restaurants. (Twitter even used a restaurant as the example. A poutine restaurant.)

In a Medium post reflecting on the new functionality, CEO Dennis Crowley calls Foursquare the “location layer of the Internet,” which is definitely true. Foursquare has been at this for some time, and its store of data is impressive. I’m excited that they’re applying it at such grand scale. It’s good news for Twitter, too. Specific location tagging is one of Instagram’s basic functions, and before they were acquired by Facebook, they used Foursquare to power locations. (After, it used Facebook’s store of places.) Great news for business, great news for photo-sharing, and an exciting step for both companies.



The Case Against Cash-Only Restaurants

Credit cards didn’t kill ‘em, but perhaps the growing mobile-payments industry will? Ah, the cash-only restaurant. We’ve all been burned by one of these at some point (and by burned I mean forced to pay exorbitant ATM fees from the terminal in the back of the restaurant or in the bodega around the corner.) Arecent piece on Thrillist makes the case for the end of the cash-only restaurant (mostly focused on New York City, but the information is applicable most places.) Once you get past a little too much of the author’s whining, the facts become interesting: “By 2017, only 23% of US consumer transactions will be cash-based. These projections barely take into account mobile payment platforms like Google Wallet & Apple Pay, which have come on especially strong in the past 12 months,” for example.

My take: cash may not always be king, but it still has a place. That said, consumers are likely tiring of places that won’t accept plastic (or other methods of payment), and I imagine that sentiment will start to affect how these places do business.



Why Instagram Food Porn Is Shot from Above

Presumably because it’s hard to take the shot from below? (I can’t take credit for that joke; it goes to Dave Pell, author of my favorite online newsletter, NextDraft. It’s great, you should subscribe.)

Anyway, Vice‘s Munchies tackles this… phenomenon, both on Instagram and in food photography generally. Turns out, it’s not a product of the Instagrammable world we aspire to live in; it’s a technique started in 1960 by a Swiss artist. Huh.

Then, a potential explanation from the author: “If we, as photographers or viewers, assume the point-of-view of God (or the Cloud, whichever operates at the center of your personal belief system), we expose our own buried desire to have complete control over the food we consume.” Maybe, or maybe that’s just the only way for an iPhone to capture every element that’s on the plate.



  • AltaCA in San Francisco (and one of my favorite spots) is taking suggestions for a new cocktail name on Twitter — @AltaCAsf
  • How OpenTable fought and won the “relevance war” — David Aaker on LinkedIn
  • California’s Silicon Valley + Central Valley: a good look at tech + farming — FastCo Exist
  • The James Beard Foundation Award finalists lists were released today. Among them, the awesome San Francisco Magazine piece about chefs and Yelp by Rebecca Flint Marx —GrubStreet (full list of media finalists)

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