It’s Foursquare day in NYC and in many other cities around the world. In celebration the company is trotting out some new user numbers and usage metrics. As of today, there are 20 million Foursquare users who’ve checked in 2 billion times. And both of those numbers are accelerating.
There’s a lot to say about a service we’ve watched grow from 30,000 members at the time we backed them to where they are now. But, one of the things that’s most impressed me is how much I’ve grown up with the service too.
What started out as a fun network for staying connected to friends whereabouts and competing for points has turned into something much more. It’s become a network where I shape places and, in return, they reshape me and the way I experience them.
One of the key insights the team made early on was that Foursquare should always be about more than a location, it should be about a place- a restaurant, a venue, an attraction, a home. Up until Foursquare, location had primarily represented dots on maps or geo coordinates.
But a place is more than a dot on a map. Places have faces and experiences attached to them. They have personality. Places serve the best espresso in town. They host first dates. They take on meaning to those who’ve shared time there. Some have actual addresses and some exist only on the network (hello Snowpocalypse!).
What Foursquare is evolving into for me is a service where places come to life. Pictures and tips from friends stay with a place long after they’ve left. Checkins lay the foundation, but every action in the network helps to unlock the power of place for everyone else. And when I leave a tip or a photo or simply just checkin, I’ve become a small part of that place and it me.
When we funded Foursquare it was just a few people around the table at 36 Coop. Though the team has moved on to a new location, their checkins, photos and tips have turned that address into a place. The same can be said of so many more places around the world.
So happy Foursquare day to the team and to the users who’ve helped location find it’s place.