Foursquare Review

Now that you know a bit about how Foursquare works, and have learned about how much it can cost you, we thought we’d share our review of Foursquare.com with you. We'll break down the pros and cons of this local business and event directory so that you know exactly what you’re getting in to, and can decide if it is the website or app for you.

Pros

  • Find anything you need, fast! – Foursquare can help you find exactly what you're looking for in your local area quickly. Simply search for the type of facility you’re looking for (restaurant, nightclub, something in a particular city, etc.), and it will show you the closest things around you that match what you’re looking for. If you download the app, you can take it with you on the go, gaining the convenience of finding things around you while you’re out.
     
  • Avoid disappointment or misrepresentation – Because Foursquare has reviews and tips for its users, you can learn all about a business or location before you even get there. Never again will a place trick you into thinking you’re getting something you’re not, because real people have been there, reviewed it, and told you exactly what’s in store for you.
     
  • It learns what you love as you use it – The more you use Foursquare, the more accurately it can make suggestions for you. In other words, it helps you find places that you might love based on places you already like! This is particularly useful when you’re visiting a new city, as Foursquare can tell you the places to go in that city based on ones you like at home!

Cons

  • Not as many reviews as other websites – Though Foursquare is useful for finding businesses and fun things you’d love, it doesn’t have quite as many users as more established websites like TripAdvisor.com. Not as many businesses have been added to their collection, and (therefore) not as many reviews are there to help you.
     
  • Spam messages are often present – Some users use the tips and reviews section of the website to promote their own businesses, though this likely has nothing to do with what you are looking for on Foursquare. Also, owners can add fake reviews about their place of business, so be wary of taking every review you see to be entirely truthful.

The Bottom Line: 7/10

Foursquare is useful to many people who love exploring new places in their city, or who want recommendations for places to go when in an unfamiliar city. Foursquare not only helps you search for facilities in your area and find the best places to socialize, but also recommends new places to visit based on ones that you already like. You can access reviews of your local businesses, and read thousands of travel tips and tricks for areas you’re unfamiliar with.

However, there are a few drawbacks to Foursquare. The main one is that its resources and user base are not as extensive as exiting websites that provide similar services; not as many people use Foursquare as websites like TripAdvisor, for example.  This means that there are not nearly as many reviews you can view, filters you can add to a search, or users you can contact to learn more about an area or location. There is also the potential for spam on the website, as many local businesses advertise for themselves while appearing as regular users. (To learn more about spam, visit our tutorial on how to stop spam). This can make it difficult to determine what advice is actually beneficial to you.

That’s our opinion on the Foursquare website and app. To learn more about some other websites with greater numbers of users and reviews, check out our article on the best sites like Foursquare (here). If you’re interested in learning more about how to use Foursquare, our course has step-by-step tutorials on how to use the Foursquare website and how to download and use the app.


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 Foursquare.com 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.


What Is Foursquare and How Does It Work?

Have you ever had one of those days where you want to go out and do something fun, but you’re just sick of the same old thing? Or when you need to take a visitor to a great place, but you have no idea where to go or what they would like? Luckily, there's a website/app that helps you find all the best facilities around you, and can even predict the places you’ll love as you continue to use it. It's called Foursquare.com, but what exactly is it?

Foursquare is a website and mobile app that allows you to search for information on — and reviews of –facilities and events in your current geographical area. It can also learn your preferences as you use it, and then predict the places you would like to go, no matter where in the world you find yourself.

How does Foursquare work?

Foursquare allows users to input both a city and keywords related to what they're looking for there into its search bar.  Users can then filter their search results — and read reviews on them — to choose a place to go to. It will also start to recommend places to you based on your searches.

Use the search bar to indicate what you are looking for (and where), and then scroll through the many results Foursquare will present to you. You can also filter those results to make your search more specific to what you’re looking for. Foursquare is great for researching local hotspots — it may even help you find a place you may not have even known existed.

The Foursquare home screen and search bar.

Foursquare is also particularly useful because of its ability to learn about your preferences as you use it, and then actually predict where you would like to go. Simply enter a bit of information about your preferences at your own pace, and then look for the suggestions made for you. This is best utilized when you’re visiting (or moving to) a new city, as it can teach you about what places you might like in that city based on the places you like in your home city. Make sure you save places you love and add your preferences to make Foursquare work for you!

7 ways to use Foursquare to improve your life

1. Take a friend out to a great place they’ll love

If you have a friend visiting you from another city, you may want to take them out to a great restaurant or experience the local nightlife with them. By entering information about what you’re looking for into Foursquare, you can find the perfect place to take them and keep your hosting game on point!

2. Learn about fun activities to do in any city around the world

You can use it to research cities around the world, not just ones near you.  Learn the best places to visit and the best things to do in each city, right from the comfort of your own home. Use this to help plan vacations or day trips to new destinations.

3. Read the tips and reviews from other users

Foursquare has a library of reviews and tips that users have shared on the website.  This lets you learn specific details about a place of business or an event before you go there. That way, you’ll never fall victim to misrepresentation, or be surprised by a business again.

4. Feel at home in a new city

Moving to a new city can be lonely, especially when you’re missing your favourite restaurant or city park. The website and app will help you find new places to love, based on the places you liked in your old city (and beyond). You can find a new favorite spot in no time!

5. Find a place at home you never knew existed

You don’t always need to move to a new city to not know what’s around you. There could be great places just around the corner that you’ve never seen or heard about… but Foursquare has! If you let it know your preferences, it can find these places for you.

6. Utilize Foursquare Trip Tips

“Trip Tips,” one of the functions Foursquare offers you, allows you to share a trip you’re planning to a new city. Simply share the name of the city you're travelling to on other social media networks, and enter a bit of information about your trip.  Your friends and contacts can then share tips with you to help you plan the best trip ever!

7. Find something you need fast – on the go!

Download the app so you can take it with you on the go. That way, when you’re trying to plan a group activity on the fly or craving a specific type of food, you’ll know what — and where — your options are.

History of Foursquare

Foursquare was launched in 2009 by founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai in New York City. It began primarily as a check-in app, where users let others know where they were and what they were doing. However, many other popular social networks (such as Facebook) have this function built into them now.  Foursquare had to expand its offerings and become more unique, which it did in 2014.

Now, Foursquare learns what kinds of places you love, so it can make suggestions on the best places to go in any city. It also changed its financial structure by launching "Foursquare Pinpoint" to collect user data for businesses and learn consumer habits. Foursquare also launched a companion app called Swarm, which allows you to compete with your friends to create more and bigger social meet-ups.

How safe is Foursquare?

Foursquare is as safe as most social media websites, so long as reasonable precautions are taken. Users should avoid sharing personal and financial information on the website, as this is never necessary to use the website or app. Sharing your current location constantly can also post a threat to your personal safety.

Some users do add nonsense ("spam") posts to the website, which are generally more of an annoyance than a danger.  Still, you should avoid clicking on links in user’s posts, as well as engaging in conversations with strangers who ask for personal or financial information. Also remember that anyone can join Foursquare and post on the site without verifying their identity or experiences; just because a user claims a business is safe or cheap doesn’t mean that it is.

How does Foursquare make money?

Foursquare makes money by allowing businesses to advertise on its website and mobile app; these advertisements target different users based on their interests. It also uses “Foursquare Pinpoint” to collect user data, which it then sells to businesses interested in learning about the demographics of their customers.

The app and website are both currently free to use. To learn more about the potential costs associated with Foursquare, considering checking out our article on whether or not Foursquare is free.

Foursquare competition

There are some great apps and wesbites like Foursquare out there that have other features that can help you find the best places around you. One that is very similar to Foursquare is LikeWhere.com, which asks you questions about the city you live in to predict where you would like to go in another city. TripAdvisor.com, though not used to predict places you would like to go, has an unparalleled library of reviews of businesses and destinations around the world. AroundMe.com, like Foursquare, helps you find places in your immediate vicinity quickly, so you'll always know where to go… even if you're currently on the go.

CitySocializer.com is an app like Foursquare that helps you to find the best social gatherings going on around you; it focuses on making face-to-face connections with other users in your city. One more app out there is Smacktive, which helps you find individuals in your local area who like doing the same activities you like doing.  It then helps you arrange meetings with them, so you get to enjoy your hobbies while expanding your social life.

To learn more about any of these alternatives and more, check out this article.

 

That’s our introduction to Foursquare! In the rest of our Foursquare course, we’ll teach you about the potential costs associated with using the service, as well as help you decide whether or not it will be useful to you in our Foursquare review. We also have step-by-step tutorials with pictures on how to use the website and how to download and use the app.