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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags twitterWeb 2.0 and Web AppsinternetFacebook

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?