What is Foursquare?

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What is Foursquare?
In 2009, Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai created a service called Foursquare. So what is this Foursquare all about and why is it gaining more users? The service is actually a location-based social networking website. However, it is not the typical social networking website that internet users join in. Foursquare is both a web and mobile device application. A similar project had been founded by Crowley and was bought in 2005 by the search engine giant, Google. However, the project was shut down in 2009 and was replaced by Google Latitude.

Similar to many social networking websites, Foursquare allows registered users to connect with friends and let their location be known by their connections. Users gain points by checking in at specific spots or venues. Users are able to post their check ins to other social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Foursquare also offers push-notification of friend updates on their 1.3 version of application, which is used in Apple’s iPhone. These friend updates are popularly known by registered users as ‘Ping’.

Badges are also earned by checking in at spots with particular tags. Users can also earn badges for the frequency of check ins or time of check ins. In the future, the website plans to enable users to unlock or add their own custom badges. The social networking website also crowns users as ‘Mayor’. A registered user must frequently check into a certain spot to be qualified or be crowned as ‘Mayor’,

In 60 days, a user must have the most number of check ins than anyone else. Another requisite is that the check in must comply with under the website’s time and distance set of rules. Lastly, the user must have a profile photo before being qualified to be crowned as ‘Mayor’ of that certain venue. The user will stay as the ‘Mayor’ until someone takes away the title by beating him with more check ins.

In 2010, on the month of August, Foursquare released a new feature to the website. Before getting crowned as ‘Mayor’, the user will get notified of the remaining days left to get his or her crown as ‘Mayor’. Moreover, users may also create post regarding tips about the venue. The tips may be something about the good things one may experience from the venue. As of present, Foursquare continues its popularity and has gained approximately 5 million users around the world.

Foursquare is currently offering mobile applications to major mobile devices such as the iPhone, Android, webOS, Windows Phone 7 and the Blackberry. However, a Maemo application is not being offered in the website because it is still under the development stage. Pocket PCs can use Foursquare with the Waze application. Android, iPhone and Blackberry may also use Waze to access Foursquare. Another application available is the Sym4square, which is an application for Symbian users. The access of Foursquare is not limited by the applications available. In fact, a mobile phone browser may be used to access Foursquare. However, the downside is that users must manually search for venues.

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