WCAU Philadelphia has partnered with the social networking outfit foursquare on a venture that pairs local news with foursquare's increasingly popular location-tracking mobile service. The alliance gives viewers "the ability to track news and information as it unfolds in their community throughout the day," said the NBC owned station in a statement.
"Local news is truly driven by location and the act of checking-in further connects our audience to the news we deliver each day," said Chris Blackman, WCAU vice president of news. "Our foursquare partnership enables us to engage viewers across the Delaware Valley with real-time news updates on the most talked about and important local stories and to enhance the feedback and perspective we get from them."
Foursquare describes itself as "a location-based mobile platform that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. By 'checking in' via a smartphone app or SMS, users share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges."
It currently has over 10 million users.
WCAU will initially select one lead news story each day, assigning a reporter to check in through www.foursquare.com/NBCPhiladelphia upon arrival at the story location and provide regular updates as he or she covers the story. Later, multiple news events will be featured on the foursquare platform, with plans to roll out individual reporter accounts and experiment with further functionality.
WCAU will also offer what it calls "news-based tips at popular check-in locations and landmarks around Philadelphia, providing additional value to viewers and consumers as they traverse the city."
NBC has not revealed whether other stations in the group will pair with foursquare as well.