Is Foursquare Free and How Does It Make Money?

Now that you've learnt what Foursquare is and how it works, we thought you’d be interested to know all about how makes its money, and whether or not it is going to cost you any money. In this article, we’ll explain when Foursquare is and isn’t free, and how they make their money.  That way, you know exactly what kind of app you’re doing business with. Read below to find out more!

How much does Foursquare cost?

Foursquare is free to use; it currently does not charge users to download or use the app.  However, it reserves the right to do so, as per the terms and conditions that you agree to when you sign up.  Also, when using Foursquare on mobile devices while on the go, be sure to monitor data usage.

How does Foursquare pay the bills, then?

Foursquare makes its money through in-app (or on-webpage) advertisement to its users, as well as by selling consumer information to other businesses (through “Foursquare Pinpoint”). The software monitors foot traffic, and then compiles user data to determine which demographics most commonly frequent businesses.

Foursquare also gets some of its revenue from offering businesses the chance to expedite an advertisement on their website or app, though this does not represent a large portion of their income. Instead, Foursquare Pinpoint is their focus, as it has the potential to earn significant revenue.

For example, if a user checks into a restaurant, Foursquare can share the user's demographic information with the restaurant.  That way, the restaurant knows more about who their target audience is.  Foursquare also monitors foot traffic, which has revenue potential as well, as many businesses would be interested to know how many people come in and out of their venues.

A warning about Foursquare and data usage

To use Foursquare for free, all you need is a desktop computer — or a mobile device that runs either the Google Android or Apple iOS operating system — and a working Internet connection for your chosen platform. Using the Foursquare website is free, as is using the app. However, if you use Foursquare on your mobile device (because it can be very useful to use on the go), you either need to find a free Wi-Fi connection, or use your device’s data plan.

If you constantly use Foursquare in combination with your data, you may need to monitor your usage to ensure you do not go over your monthly data allotment. The app does not use as much data as video streaming services (for example), but you should still consider monitoring your data usage to ensure you are not charged extra money for using more than your monthly data limit.


That’s how Foursquare makes its money, and what you should look out for to ensure you can use it for free. If you’re interested in using trying it out, consider reading our review of Foursquare (our next tutorial), which may help you determine whether you really want to use it or not. If you think you’re ready to create an account, check out this article on how to download and sign up for the Foursquare app.