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Key links:
Primary website:
foursquare.com
Primary Twitter:
@foursquare

Foursquare is a location-based social network that awards users for “checking-in” to venues in a city on a mobile device.

Foursquare was created by Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai in 2009. Crowley had previously created another geolocation-based social network, Dodgeball, which was acquired by Google in 2005. Google shut down Dodgeball in 2009 and replaced it with Google Latitude. Originally available only in 100 metro areas, Foursquare became available worldwide in January 2010. As of February 2011, Foursquare says it has more than 6.5 million users worldwide.

Foursquare allows users to connect with friends and broadcast their location across other networks such as Twitter and Facebook. The service has game-like features to entice users to engage with the Foursquare regularly, including points, badges, and “mayorships” for the most check-ins at a location.

Foursquare users can leave “tips” and bookmark venues, allowing them to use the service similar to a city guide like Yelp. Businesses have responded by creating deals specifically for Foursquare users, and the company lets businesses access information about customers who check-in.

Foursquare and the media

News organizations have attempted a number of experiments to use Foursquare as a means of reaching new audiences. In 2010, The Wall Street Journal “checked in” to Times Square with news alerts when the areas was evacuated over fears of a suspicious package in a car.

Washington, D.C.-based TBD has said it used Foursquare to try to identify people near the scene of a shooting at the headquarters of the Discovery Channel. The National Post in Toronto partnered with Foursquare to offer recommendations and tips from the Post for the Toronto International Film Festival.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Dec. 14, 2011 / Justin Ellis
A web-first politics site for NBC News: Vivian Schiller on the launch of NBCPolitics.com — NBC News keeps its political reporting in lots of different places. There’s Chuck Todd on Twitter, in the evening with Brian Williams and the Nightly News Crew, online at MSNBC’s First Read, or your Sunday mo...
April 14, 2011 / Tim Currie
What works for news orgs on Foursquare? Opinion, reviews, evergreens, but maybe not the news — At the International Symposium on Online Journalism earlier this month, one of the most interesting papers presented was from Tim Currie, an assistant journalism professor at the University of King's College in Halifax, ...
Feb. 14, 2011 / Martin Langeveld
Tackable aims to become the social network for user-generated news — Facebook and Twitter may be a great way to organize revolutions, but as we saw during the last few weeks of checking #Egypt and #Jan25 hashtags, following them on Twitter can mean a frustrating hunt through lots of chaff...
Jan. 24, 2011 / Justin Ellis
SeedSpeak: A geolocation app for better civic engagement — We're all too familiar with terms like "community" and "engagement" when talking about online news. But what if we take it back to the root? Not Twitter followers, blog comments, or Quora questions, but instead a group o...
Dec. 22, 2010 / Amy Webb
Amy Webb: The IPv4 problem, geofencing, and lots of hyperlocal — We're wrapping up 2010 by asking some of the smartest people in journalism what the new year will bring. Here's digital media consultant Amy Webb of Webbmedia Group, on hyperlocal startups, tablets, geofencing, and more....

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Justin Ellis. Main text last updated: May 11, 2011.
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Explore: I-News
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I-News, the Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network, is an investigative news organization initially founded as a private nonprofit but now part of the Denver-based public TV network Rocky Mountain PBS. The network was founded in 2009 by Laura Frank, a former reporter for the defunct Rocky Mountain News. It had five full-time staff members as of 2013….

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