Foursquare revamps its developer site as API usage soars

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It’s no secret that developers are the key to Foursquare’s continued success, and as part of supporting that mission the company just launched a revamped developer site, its first major refresh since 2009.

The new site clarifies what the difference is between the developer offerings. The Places API is the free offering that most developers will use that serves up information on over 105 million places, while the Places database and Pilgrim SDK are designed for enterprise use.

Last year the company raised $45M and put in a new CEO to help build out their enterprise business, and it’s working. Today Foursquare powers location services for companies like Uber, Airbnb, and even Apple’s Maps app.

Smaller developers are flocking to the platform too – 125,000 developers are now signed up to use the company’s location services tools, up from 100,000 last year. This 25% growth in new signups in a year and a half is pretty staggering, considering that Foursquare’s API has been around since 2009.

And these new developers are building apps because usage is growing even faster – in that same year and a half period monthly API call volume has more than doubled, up 228%. Again, pretty good growth for a company that’s been around for almost a decade.

The site has a pretty good selection of sample code and apps including some augmented reality demos. These should be especially helpful in getting developers up and running quickly with AR apps, which is important considering the growing popularity of the category. Plus, most AR apps closely tie into the real world around you, which is Foursquare’s bread and butter.

Of course these smaller developers aren’t going to have a huge impact on Foursquare’s balance sheet. But there’s always the chance that one of them will be the next Uber. Plus, the more apps that use Foursquare’s location services the more data they can collect to improve the overall experience and accuracy for all end users.