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Roughly 10 months after it debuted on the iPhone, Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM ) BlackBerry is getting Foursquare.
For those who don't know, Foursquare is a privately held company founded by some of the coders who sold Dodgeball to Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) in 2005, which shut it down a year ago. Users of Foursquare connect by sharing where they are, and accumulate points in the process.
"What we wanted to do is turn life into a video game," co-founder Dennis Crowley said in announcing the service at a tech meetup in New York last year. "You should be rewarded for going out more times than your friends, and hanging out with new people and going to new restaurants and going to new bars -- just experiencing things that you wouldn't normally do."
Foursquare matters not just because it's getting popular -- though at an estimated 250,000 users, it's tracking well -- but because mobile users tend to embrace social networking tools. The latest research from the Pew Internet Project found that 54% of Internet users were connected via some sort of mobile device, and of those 25% use Twitter or a similar network. That's up from 14% in December of 2008.
If you're Research In Motion, you want developers of up-and-coming social apps like Foursquare to create code for your platform right away. You don't want to be in line behind Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPhone and Google's Android.
So what if RIM is ahead of Nokia's (NYSE: NOK ) Symbian, and Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Windows Mobile in getting Foursquare? With due respect, these aren't the platforms that matter. These aren't the data consumers.
Then again, neither is the BlackBerry. According to recent research from Validas, iPhones consume five times as much data as BlackBerrys, when measured in megabytes.
Maybe the ratio will change now that the BlackBerry is getting Foursquare and other social apps. Maybe, but I'm not optimistic. Developers don't change easily. Windows still gets more care and feeding from coders than does the Mac, and developers have already shown a preference for the iPhone.
Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you think developers will learn to love the BlackBerry again? Or has the iPhone permanently changed the equation? Make your voice heard using the comments box below.