Would You Check into Foursquare…on TV?

Foursquare, the popular "check-in" site that pioneered location-based social networking, is on to something new, and it is not your laptop, your computer or your smartphone. It's TV. But is it the future?

Foursquare, the popular “check-in” site that pioneered location-based social networking, is on to something new, and it is not your laptop, your computer or your smartphone. It’s TV. But is it the future?

The company has signed an exclusive development deal with the international, independent production company Endemol USA to develop “original programming” in which Foursquare is “meaningfully integrated.”

The statement announcing the deal did not give many details, but early reports from entertainment industry publications like Variety indicate the show may follow in the footsteps of competition and travel reality shows such as The Amazing Race.

Foursquare allows users to “check in” anywhere they go and see where their friends are. Users earn virtual badges that show up on their profiles once they have earned a certain number of check-in points or completed a task. The most dedicated users can also vie to become “mayors” by checking in at a location more than any other visitor.

Left open in the announcement is the possibility that Foursquare could be incorporated into current Endemol programs, in addition to a new show. The production company is behind hit reality and games shows such as “Deal or No Deal” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

“Endemol has a reputation for leading innovation in the television industry, and we look forward to integrating Foursquare into some of their new and already existing programming,” Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley told Variety.

This deal adds to the most recent interactions between media companies and social networking sites. As we’ve reported, it was media companies who first tapped into to the location-based trend, reaching exclusive deals with check-in start-ups, and Foursquare competitors, like Miso, Philo, Starlingand GetGlue, as a way to build loyalty programs and reward their most dedicated watchers with special badges and previews of upcoming shows.

Foursquare is now the first of the major location-based sites to land this type of deal for exclusive, new content. Launched in March 2009, the site says it now has almost 5 million users, who check in with the site more than 1.5 million times each day.

Those numbers, along with the young demographic the site attracts, were no doubt music to TV executives’ ears, but it remains to be seen whether social networkers will translate into a captive television audience.

The check-in format of Foursquare, in particular, would seem to lend itself well to a competition, reality-type show, but worth considering is that location-based social networking is still a work-in-progress, with a recent study finding that only four percent of online adults use location-based services and, on any given day, just one percent of Internet users use the services to share their location with friends.

Does Foursquare TV interest you? Would you be willing to “check in” offline?