30 Foursquare Statistics to Help You Optimize the Platform in 2020
Foursquare, the local search-and-discovery mobile app has been around for almost a decade now. During this period, its user base may not have grown at the same rate as comparatively older networks like Instagram or Pinterest, but as this list of Foursquare statistics shows, its importance for marketers can’t be judged simply by its direct global reach.
What makes Foursquare different from other social networking platforms? Why can’t businesses, both online and brick-and-mortar, afford to ignore it in 2019? To figure out the answers to these and many other questions, we’ve put together a bunch of stats and facts concerning Foursquare’s usage, business model, and overall role in the digital media ecosystem, all divided into three distinct categories. We are sure this information will help you hone your marketing strategy for 2019 and beyond.
Foursquare Statistics (Editor's Choice)
- Foursquare users have shared more than 600M photos on the platform.
- Foursquare is the 107th most popular and the 63rd most famous mobile app in the US.
- The widest use of Foursquare in the US is in the 18–24 age group at 26%.
- More urban social media users use Foursquare in the US than rural users do.
- The location-based advertising market will grow by a CAGR of more than 17% through 2022.
- 96% of PC owners and 79% of mobile phone owners use their devices for local searches.
- Nearly 2M businesses have pages with their listing on Foursquare.
- April 16 is celebrated as Foursquare Day.
Foursquare Usage Statistics 2019
1. Foursquare had at least 50 million monthly active users by the end of 2018.
According to the latest data released by the company, more than 50 million people use the recommended City Guide Foursquare app and the location-based game Foursquare Swarm each month across desktop, mobile web, and mobile apps. While this isn’t equivalent to social networks like Twitter and Instagram, Foursquare’s ad targeting and other services allow it to make money from a relatively smaller user base. While the company doesn’t provide data on Foursquare users by country, it is believed that about 60% of its users are based in the US.
2. Foursquare surpassed 12B check-ins in 2017.
The cumulative number of check-ins since the founding of Foursquare crossed the 12 billion mark in August 2017. The average number of daily check-ins on Foursquare Swarm is about 8 million. The company has evolved beyond being a social media app broadcasting your friend’s favorite sandwich shop into a bonafide location data firm that sells its rich dataset to anyone seeking fine-grained information about how people spend their time and money, so the number of check-ins continues to remain an important metric of user engagement.
3. Foursquare users have shared more than 600M photos on the platform.
Here’s another of the notable Foursquare trends that point toward massive user engagement across its two apps. The platform has seen explosive growth in the number of personal images uploaded by users worldwide. Much of Foursquare’s growth has occurred over the last three years.
(Source: Venture Beat)
4. Foursquare users have written more than 95M tips over the years.
While these tips are valuable, this mass of information requires a lot of sifting through. Foursquare has recently revamped its strategy to determine the most useful tips for any venue, thus extracting even more value from the input provided by its users and serving its clients better.
5. Foursquare is the 107th most popular and the 63rd most famous mobile app in the US.
Foursquare statistics from 2018 also show that it’s more popular among millennials than it is among other age groups, and slightly more popular with women than it is with men. Of course, as we will see further below, the app’s importance, unlike most other social networking platforms, doesn’t just come from its direct users, but from its data being used by other more popular apps.
6. Foursquare is used by 13% of adult social media users in the US.
Based on this widely cited survey of 18+ social media users in the US and UK, Foursquare holds the 16th position among the most popular social media networks in terms of percentage of respondents admitting to using it. With 13% usage, it ranked below Tinder and Giphy in the US. In the UK, its overall usage was even lower at 9%, with even WeChat finding wider usage.
(Source: We Are Flint)
7. The widest use of Foursquare in the US is in the 18–24 age group at 26%.
Like many other social networking apps, Foursquare’s greatest penetration is in the youngest user group among adults in the US who use social media. Foursquare statistics show that, with increasing age, the usage of the app goes down. In the UK, the highest penetration is in the 25–34 group at 23%, with the 18–24 group scoring 19%. Interestingly, in the UK, in the 64+ category, there was no use of Foursquare at all.
(Source: We Are Flint)
8. Men are more likely to use Foursquare than women are in the US.
In the US, as in the UK, men are more likely to use Foursquare. According to Foursquare statistics by country, the penetration rates for male and female users in the US is 18% and 8%, respectively, while in the UK, it is 10% and 7%, respectively. This ties into another older study by the Wall Street Journal where, based on Foursquare check-ins, they found the men are more likely to share their location data. Moreover, while men are more likely to use Foursquare to check-in at travel locations, women are more likely to check-in at educational locations and cosmetic shops.
(Source: We Are Flint, The Next Web)
9. Social media users with higher income are generally more likely to use Foursquare.
In both the US and UK, Foursquare stats show that the app has slightly greater penetration among users with income at the higher end of the categories defined. In the US, 20% of users in the $100,000+ income bracket use the service, while only about 10% in the under $30,000 bracket do so. In the UK, the figure for the £48,000+ bracket is 14%, while it is just 7% for the under £14,000 bracket.
(Source: We Are Flint)
10. More urban social media users use Foursquare in the US than rural users do.
Quite expectedly, the use of Foursquare is greater among urban social media users both in the US and in the UK. 14% of urban users and 9% of rural users are on Foursquare in the US. The corresponding figures for the UK are 10% (urban) and 5% (rural).
(Source: We Are Flint)
Image Source: Davenport
Foursquare Marketing Statistics 2019
11. More than 105M venues around the world have been mapped using Foursquare.
In just nine years since the company was created, Foursquare has collected billions of check-ins from 105 million places across some 160 countries. This vast amount of data is then packed into valuable insights for brands through the Foursquare Location Intelligence business.
(Source: Foursquare, CNBC)
12. Foursquare powers location experiences for over 1 billion people globally.
Technology players are leaning into opportunities to leverage a location for enhanced experiences, notifications, and personalized content. Through its partnership with players like Apple, Uber, Twitter, Microsoft, Samsung, Target, and Subway, Foursquare delivers location-based services to many people beyond its direct user base.
13. Foursquare location data is used by more than 150,000 developers worldwide.
Foursquare API lets third-party apps make use of its location data. Thus, after pioneering the trend of “checking-in” to a place, Foursquare’s main business model now involves using the information collected through these check-ins to provide technology, data, and other business services to some of the biggest brands in the world.
14. The location-based advertising market will grow by a CAGR of more than 17% through 2022.
Marketers are showing increasing interest in tapping into the additional layer of real-life insights they can access about their consumers to create more personalized, contextually relevant, and ambitious campaigns. Thus, even though the bulk of consumer spending still takes place offline, digital media plays an important role in driving sales. A quick Foursquare review shows that it’s very strategically placed to provide marketers with the kind of location-based information they require to make their advertising more efficient.
15. 96% of PC owners and 79% of mobile phone owners use their devices for local searches.
The top reason for local search is to find a local business, with the second most common reason being looking for a business with the product or service desired. Nearly half of all service, restaurant, and travel searchers look for a business they’ve never made a purchase from before. The advertising implications of this fact are quite obvious.
16. Nearly 80% of local searches on mobile devices turn into purchases.
Close to 90% of these purchases are in a physical store. Roughly three-fourths of these purchases take place the same day, and about 63% occur within a few hours. The implication for marketers clearly indicates the importance of strengthening a presence in local searches and tapping into these sales.
17. Nearly 2M businesses have pages with their listing on Foursquare.
According to Foursquare stats, close to 2 million businesses have claimed their listing on the platform and gained access to its business tools. This helps them join the conversation with the millions of users who share information with each other on the platform and attract customers more proactively.
18. Foursquare ads can earn an ROI as high as 2,500%.
As seen in the many advertising success stories on Foursquare for Business, the smart targeting offered by the platform helps both large and small businesses reach the right set of customers effortlessly. One of the examples, Bliss Spa, saw average customer spending between $36 and $200 per Foursquare check-in spend of $4.60, earning an average ROI of nearly 2,500%.
(Source: Sprout Social, Foursquare)
19. Foursquare has developed profiles for an additional 150M US consumers through partner apps.
Foursquare’s partnership with other popular apps proves beneficial for both parties. While the app benefits from the insights that Foursquare’s location data generates, Foursquare sees more avenues open up to develop profiles for users through periodic location trails. Its partnerships with apps like TripAdvisor have proven particularly useful for Foursquare in this regard.
20. More than 25 million people have opted into the always-on location sharing option on Foursquare.
Foursquare’s main source of location data is the panel of over 25 million users who have shown their complete trust in the service by keeping their location sharing always on. Thanks to these users, Foursquare statistics showed that it had registered over 3 billion visits a month around the globe by early 2018, twice what it was seeing a year earlier.
21. 60% of the advertisers on the Ad Age 100 list rely on Foursquare’s media and measurement products.
The two main products by Foursquare for marketers are known as Pinpoint and Attribution. The former helps marketers activate, measure, and optimize campaigns based on real-world behavioral targeting. The latter helps quantify campaign effectiveness against Foursquare’s panel of users who have enabled the always-on location sharing feature.
Image Source: Engadget
A Few Extra Foursquare Facts
22. Foursquare was launched in March 2009.
The service was created in late 2008 and launched in 2009 by Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai. Crowley had previously founded a similar project called Dodgeball as his graduate thesis project in the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University. Foursquare was built on the idea that people can use mobile devices to interact with their environment and was meant to take advantage of the new smartphones, like the iPhone, which had built-in GPS to better detect a user’s location.
23. April 16 is celebrated as Foursquare Day.
Here’s one of our more fun Foursquare facts. The 16th of April can also be written as 4/16 and sixteen is four squared. Originally thought up in 2010 as a marketing program, Foursquare Day is considered the first global social media holiday. 4/16 has been officially proclaimed as Foursquare Day by many cities around the world, including Istanbul, Singapore, Toronto, and Ramat Hasharon (Israel), as well as several in the US.
(Source: CS Monitor)
24. In 2014, Foursquare divided its two core functionalities into separate apps.
Since its launch, Foursquare performed two roles: checking in and local business discovery. Realizing that the two actions could be better served if each had its own app, the company launched Swarm in 2014. Swarm, which acts as a lifelogging tool, migrated the social networking and location sharing aspects of the service into a separate application. Foursquare City Guide is the original app that works purely as a recommendation service now, helping users discover businesses in their vicinity.
(Source: Life Wire)
25. Foursquare uses a proprietary technology called Pilgrim to detect user locations.
Pilgrim guesses a user’s location by comparing historical check-in data with the user’s current GPS signal, cell tower triangulation, cellular signal strength, and surrounding wifi signals. According to Foursquare, location technology and machine learning methodology are up to 30 times more accurate than traditional cartographic methods, particularly in challenging contexts like dense urban areas or malls.
(Source: The Verge, Medium)
26. Foursquare reached $100M in revenue in 2017.
While the company does not release annual revenue figures, according to some Foursquare stats shared by its CEO, it was on track to reach a top line of $100 million in 2017. This would mark the third year in a row that the company had seen 50% growth or higher, along with it being the first time it became profitable. This growth was driven by increased revenue from Foursquare’s advertising and enterprise solutions.
(Source: Entrepreneur, Medium)
27. Foursquare saw a 491% growth in the three years leading up to 2017.
Foursquare statistics continue to show that the company is finally getting its strategy right, with its impressive growth finding it a place in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 in 2017. It was also named in 2016’s CNBC’s Disruptor List, which includes some of the most influential businesses in the world.
28. Foursquare’s pre-money valuation in October 2018 was $300M.
Foursquare underwent a Series F funding process, raising $33 million in October 2018, bringing its total VC funding to $240 million. In an earlier round of funding in 2013, the company is believed to have been valued at $650 million.
(Source: Crunchbase, TechCrunch)
29. Recent research has shown that nearly 75% of the Foursquare check-in data does not match the actual physical location of the users.
Belying much of the enthusiasm around the high-value location-based data provided by Foursquare and similar services, studies have found that as many as 75% of the check-ins tend to be misrepresented by users. The primary reason for this is that misrepresentation is incentivized by rewards provided by the platform, such as badges, Mayorships, and financial incentives. While the research findings are preliminary and limited, this does raise the need for some diligence on the part of marketers before they invest in these services.
(Source: Association for Computing Machinery)
30. Among the top 5 review sites, Foursquare is the only one to consistently receive fewer reviews than in the previous year.
Foursquare statistics also show that it is the only review platform when compared to rivals like Google, Facebook, Yelp, and TripAdvisor that plateaued between 2012 and 2018. This should not be surprising, though, as the company has changed its focus and revenue model significantly over the last few years.