Location Sharing FourSquare Finally Shares Its API

Normally we'd give a brand new site a break for not immediately having an API. When it comes to the rabidly popular FourSquare, which launched in March, developers have been clamoring to build on top of the service. So, today's launch of the FourSquare API (our FourSquare API profile) is bound to be met with extreme enthusiasm.

In truth, the API has been out there since at least May, in use by a select few developers. That means that there are already a number of great examples in the app gallery.

FourSquare app gallery

FourSquare's service lets users within its cities "check in" to let their friends know where they are. There are a number of other services, such as BrightKite (our BrightKite API profile) and Shizzow (our Shizzow API profile), that have similar features. However, FourSquare made sharing locations a game. The service awards points, mayorship and badges to its users. With this, and unveiling its iPhone app at the popular SXSW conference, FourSquare took off.

TechCrunch thinks the API could make it even bigger:

The opening of the data is likely to be important for Foursquare in the long run. Foursquare is getting traction with users putting information into its system, but a real explosion could come if third-party developers start making some great apps on top of the service. Obviously, we've seen that type of community swarm around and feed services like Twitter.

The API provides access to the same functions that make the FourSquare mobile apps run. In addition, you can access a user's checkin history. Developer Andrew Mager details how to write a FourSquare app using OAuth and PHP.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.



[...] more information about FourSquare, see our FourSquare API profile or the post announcing its public availability. Related ProgrammableWeb ResourcesLearn more Foursquare API [...]

[...] November, Foursquare gave developers access to some of this data by releasing an API (check out our Foursquare coverage here). Several applications that used the API were available at launch, with many more on the way. From [...]

[...] their APIs. Location-sharing app Foursquare waited eight months until the check-in service let any developer check out its API. Famously, photo-sharing site Instagram saw its API reverse engineered. Two months later it [...]