When location falls to the background, UX wins

There’s an interesting story here about how Foursquare flounder Dennis Crowley sees his service evolving in the near future. But I think the whole location check-in game is heading in a different direction.

Eventually, I think, location-awareness will fall into the background and Foursquare, in some way shape or form, will become a meta-data provider to the rest of the internet. This will be functionality that’s baked into Twitter, Facebook, CNN, Digg, Circa and everything else. Heck it may even be baked into future versions of iOS or forked versions of Android so that “Enable Location” is something that’s done not within app settings, but at the OS level, kind of like how you can let some apps access your photos and so on, all with Foursquare using its data to make those apps smarter by pushing recommendations and so on in various ways.

This is speculation, sure, but considering how things have changed so drastically over the last few years, it would be much easier for me to, if I wanted, enable Twitter to access my location and have that location tagged in the meta-data of everything I tweet from, say, O’Hare Airport. And with Foursquare powering that meta-data, Twitter can then pull offers for a restaurant in Terminal 2 and serve it to me when I’m on my phone.

The problem with Foursquare – and there are other apps like this – is that it takes *part* of the publishing process and break it out from others like Twitter and Facebook. But if these location-awareness apps can become part of the backend of those networks it unlocks lots of potential for all parties.