Launched in 2009 by Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, Foursquare is a location-based social networking website for mobile devices. It represents a variation on the idea that people can use mobile devices to “interact” with their environment.
It allows users to “check in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging, or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application identifies in the nearby region. Location detection is based on GPS hardware in the mobile device or network location provided by the application.
Foursquare’s map is based on data from the OpenStreetMap project. Check-ins earn the user points and “badges,” and the users who check in frequently to a venue can become a “mayor,” a title users regularly vie for.
Foursquare was named Best Location Based Service in the TechCrunch Crunchies 2010, and in 2011, it was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. By February 2011, Foursquare reached 7 million users.