Foursquare plans growth around readers who never check in

Company's database of user-generated information could be appealing source of information about the best, worst places to go

NEW YORK -- Foursquare, the mobile social media service built around users "checking in" to their current locations, is adding around a million users a month and should cross the 10 million mark next week, co-founder Dennis Croley said Wednesday.

But to grow to be a cultural phenomenon like Facebook, it may need to let those who never check in tap into active users' information, Crowley told the 140 Characters Conference.

Skeptics view Foursquare the way many once viewed Twitter. The knock against Twitter was "Who wants to hear what you had for breakfast?" even though the service is considered a serious news-gathering -- and news-breaking -- tool by numerous users, including professional journalists.

Now, some critics of Foursquare say they don't want to know in realtime-- nor do they care -- what locations all their friends are frequenting; others worry about security and privacy issues when constantly broadcasting their location.

Proponents, though, say Foursquare offers useful crowd-sourced tips for restaurants, health clubs and the like. Growing a group of users who read and rely on this information without issuing broadcasts of their own would address their privacy concerns.

Crowley said the company has numerous algorithms that help it rank the best and most interesting spots in a city based on data from its millions of users.

There are more than 400,000 merchants using the Foursquare platform to do promotions or offer rewards or discounts to customers and about 10,000 developers writing third-party applications for the platform, he said, such as one that warns you if a restaurant where you've checked in has received a poor health inspection report.

The company is generating revenue -- he wouldn't say how much -- but is not yet focused on turning a profit, Crowley said.

Sharon Machlis is online managing editor at Computerworld. Her e-mail address is smachlis@computerworld.com. You can follow her on Twitter @sharon000, on Facebook or by subscribing to her RSS feeds:articles | blogs.

Read more about web 2.0 and web apps in Computerworld's Web 2.0 and Web Apps Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetFacebooktwitterWeb 2.0 and Web Apps

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?