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Locative Media and Sociability: Using Location-Based Social Networks to Coordinate Everyday Life

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      Foursquare was a mobile social networking application that enabled people to share location with friends in the form of “check-ins.” The visualization of surrounding known social connections as well as unknown others has the potential to impact how people coordinate social encounters and forge new social ties. While many studies have explored mobile phones and sociability, there is a lack of empirical research examining location-based social network’s (LSBNs) from a sociability perspective. Drawing on a dataset of original qualitative research with a range of Foursquare users, the paper examines the application in the context of social coordination and sociability in three ways. First, the paper explores if Foursquare is used to organize certain social encounters, and if so, why. Second, the paper examines the visualization of surrounding social connections and whether this leads to “serendipitous encounters.” Lastly, the paper examines whether the use of Foursquare can produce new social relationships.

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            Author and article information

            City, University of London
            University of North Texas
            UCL Press
            September 2018
            : 14
            : 1
            Copyright © 2018 The Author(s)

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY) 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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