It’s become clear in recent years that Foursquare’s real strength is its database of more than 55 million places. Foursquare’s database API serves as the “location layer” for many other apps, from big names like Instagram to small up-and-comers.
Today, Foursquare is announcing an update that should streamline the process of keeping that information organized and up to date: It is automating the process of becoming a “superuser” with the ability to edit the location database.
In a Wikipedia-esque fashion, Foursquare gives special privileges to edit and organize location data to a vetted group of “superusers” that today number around 40,000. Superusers have historically been chosen through a manual review process that requires the sign-off of Foursquare’s six-person support team (which has, not surprisingly, created a bottleneck). Today, Foursquare is switching that duty over to an automated process.
It’s a small change that most users won’t notice, but it’s key to Foursquare’s larger strategy. Adding more superusers should help things run more smoothly on the venue database, which is clearly a top asset for Foursquare as a company.