The image analyzes the sentiment of comments on Foursquare mapped to the location where the user was when the comment was made. This essentially creates a “happiness heatmap”. Based on the ratio of positive responses to negative ones, we can see how happy a location is.
Whether or not you think that is as cool as I do isn’t the point I’m trying to make. I think what this image really hints at is the kind of insight into consumer behavior, psychographics, etc. that are either being mined right now, or will be cultivated in the future from the various social media platforms.
Services such as Foursquare that map a users interaction with their physical environment offer rich data for marketers if they can figure out how to harness it and scale. With the emergence of mobile as a centerpiece in social media, understanding how to use the data is more complex but the value for marketers is also more apparent. The data can be used to inform psychographic profiles for more precise targeting, which means it’s more valuable. That’s precisely why Facebook and Google in particular are trying to best leverage geo-location and social media data.
The intersection of mobile, social, and search looks like its going to give some company the opportunity to disrupt the social/search space and reap the rewards. As I mentioned, Google and Facebook look like the most promising players. Google continues to try it’s hand with social and Facebook uses it’s advantage with Places and it’s community…
I’m personally hoping that the opportunity is seized by some kid in his garage.