My One Year Experience On Four Square: Thousands of Check-ins; 14 Badges; 0 Majorships As It Grows From 175K Users to 6 Million

It was just over a year ago I started using Four Square, the location based App “game” where you get points by check into locations your at.

A guy in the tech world who turned me on to Four Square told me it was going to be the next HOT social networking deal and I had to get on it.

So I did.

At the time I really didn’t get the concept of Four Square and a year later I still really don’t.

You check in at restaurants, hotels, airline terminals, pretty much everywhere you go in a day and if you check into a place a lot you may get to become Mayor of the place. (assuming no on else is already).

Some places treat their Mayor’s pretty well offering them free drinks to free food to discounts.

I get that I might be cool to be the Mayor of say the Four Seasons Hotel in New York or the city of Miami Beach or the Empire State Building.

However after one year It seems just about every place I check into already has a Mayor and that Mayor isn’t me.

Sure there are some “places” that still come up on Four Square that still have no Mayor, like the “Dumpster behind the 7-11” which popped up on my screen the other day but somehow that doesn’t have the same wow factor as being Mayor of the Four Seasons.

Maybe its just me.

Users of Four Square also get “Badges” based on their check-in’s so if your a frequent flier you might get the “Jetsetter” badge or if your a boater you might get “I’m on a boat” Badge.

There are a lot of Badges.

Of course the Badges are virtual and there doesn’t appear to be any prize money involved.

Or any other benefit other than i guess telling your friends you basically have no life but a have been awarded a bunch of worthless Badges. (14 as of time of publication)

My tech friend was right about one thing, a year later Four Square is huge.

I got an email from Four Square a couple of days ago and the numbers are pretty amazing:

In 2010:

“We grew from 175,000 to over 6,000,000 users”

“You guys checked in 381,576,305 times in 2010”

6 Million Users and almost a half of billion check-in’s

Wow that was some year.

How many of you are on Four Square?


  1. says

    Hello Mike,

    You bring up an interesting point! All these social networks have to find revenue traction and at the same time be accepted by their bosses at work. We have the bases covered on a proprietary solution. Social Networks will come and go, if not accepted by the work place !!

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  2. says

    Those numbers don’t highlight the turnover though.

    I bailed on Foursquare as soon as Facebook Places came out. It was a simple decision. I only wish to share my location with friends and family — all of whom are on Facebook already and I’ve got the privacy settings on Facebook clamped down. So, now if I check in anywhere, it’s using Facebook Places.

    My prediction: Foursquare will be sold for too high a price to some behind-the-times media company in 2011 or 2012 and will be a regretted purchase by 2013 or 2014 — much like News Corp with

    There is truly no redeeming business value to Foursquare. It’s a flash in the pan. It will die on the vine. I think Twitter will end up in the same boat but over a longer timeframe than Foursquare.

  3. says

    It sounds like Halo and other online games. You earn badges for leveling up and accomplishing task.

    But after a while you realize they don’t have any real value and you don’t care about the other people doing the same thing.

    Although I could see value if you mayor of a bar and they gave you some special treatment (discounts etc), but that doesn’t sound like the case here.

  4. Cartoonz says

    Foursquare is a great tool – for Burglars!

    Really… who else but stalkers, burglars, and other miscreants really care where someone else is -or is not (like at home)- at any given moment?

    …oh yeah… but gee… I got a “badge” from Foursquare… haha.. how’s that workin for ya?

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