Foursquare wants to be the biggest thing at SXSW this year, and they mean business. Just for the occasion they have created 16 new badges for users checking in at the festival, and have lined up a series of other goodies for to keep the buzz alive.
Sample badges include the “Groupie,” and the appropriately named “Hangover.” This is South By, after all.
People left and right are dubbing this years South By Southwest the ‘location SXSW’. Like Twitter was in 2007 at the event, Foursquare, Gowalla, and Loopt are to be this year.
To take part in this free wave of PR and usership, Foursquare is partnering with a number of companies to make using their service the best service to use during the multi-day event. A partnership with PayPal is raising money from Haiti. Bing, Sobe, and Pepsi are giving away Foursquare temporary tattoos to people with the new SXSW badges.
Heck you can even play Foursquare with the company, the game with a ball of course. Free t-shirts will abound.
Why all the hubbub? Location is no longer the cute new playground of the technological elite. With Foursquare growing at more than 50% a month, the company is refusing to give up an ounce of its momentum. It may feel like they are trying too hard, but with Facebook moving in to their space in short order, their actions begin to make more sense.
Still, Gowalla and others are not throwing in the towel. Expect to see a full court press from everyone on everyone at the same time. Gowalla, Foursquare, and SimpleGeo are all throwing parties, let the good times roll.