The founders of Foursquare, Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai must be very happy now (and rich!). It was announced today that their one and a half year old baby, location-based social network Foursquare, has grown to over 4.5 million users. They will be heading west and will be opening an office in San Francisco, CA.
If you’re not familiar with the software, it is basically a web and mobile application that allows registered users to connect with friends and update their location. Points are awarded for “checking in” at specific places. Users can choose to have their check-ins posted on their accounts on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Users earn badges by checking in at locations with certain tags, for check-in frequency or for other patterns such as time of check-in. If a user has checked-in to a venue on more days (meaning only one check-in per day qualifies for calculating “mayorship”) than anyone else in the past 60 days, the check-ins are valid under Foursquare’s time and distance protocols, and they have a profile photo, they will be crowned “Mayor” of that venue, until someone else earns the title by checking in more times than the previous mayor.
Foursquare started in 2009 with limited availability on metro areas. On 2010, Foursquare changed their location model to allow check-ins from any location worldwide. Foursquare currently has iPhone, Windows Phone 7, Android and BlackBerry applications. Users with Symbian phones and Pocket PCs (Windows Mobile touch screen) can use Foursquare via Waze, which is also available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. Also, there’s another application for Symbian users, named “Sym4Square”, which is similar to the application for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone. Users may also use their mobile browsers to access Foursquare mobile, but phone users must search for venues manually instead of using GPS that applications can use.