Foursquare is set to reach 10 million users this month. With the continued increase in popularity, developers are beginning to use Foursquare's API in some very fun and intriguing ways. This guide will show you seven fun ways to interact with your Foursquare account.
4sqmap is a great way to visualize many different aspects of not only your own, but your friends' Foursquare activity. In addition to viewing activity, you can view a full map of nearby specials, tips, trending venues, and even use Foursquare's recently launched Explore feature on your computer, which is a feature that is lacking on the official Foursquare Web site.
Make sure to visit 4sqmap if you want to see all of your check-ins, badges, and mayorships layed out over your city.
Gifi (iTunes link) is an iPhone application that is built off of two different APIs. The first is payment service Venmo, and the second is Foursquare. Gifi allows users to leave a "gift" at a Foursquare venue for a friend or friends. A gift can either be announced, alerting all those who are eligible to claim the gift, or left as a secret, surprising the recipient on his or her next check-in at the specified venue.
If the recipient doesn't have a Venmo account, the e-mail alerting that person to the gift provides instructions on how to sign up, and claim the gift.
Gifi is a great way to leave a simple note and some money for a loved one or friend.
DontEat.at is an interesting service for those located in the New York City area. Once you link your Foursquare account to the DontEat.at service, you will receive text messages if you check in at a food venue that has health code violations. The text will list the number of violations for that particular venue.
Unfortunately, the service is specific to New York City at this time, but it is a great way for NYC residents to keep tabs on their favorite restaurants.
FastFwdMe is a fairly new Foursquare-based service, but it is growing in popularity at a fast pace. The function of FastFwdMe is to allow users to visit the Web site, either on their smartphone or computer, and precheck in to a venue that they will be at later on that day.
You can then use the service to send out a tweet, alerting your friends of where you will be in said amount of time.
FastFwdMe then automatically checks you in to the location you previously specified after the chosen length of time is reached (it ranges from 15 minutes to 3 hours).
4sq2go is another new service that allows Foursquare users on an iOS device to save a specific venue search to their iDevice for offline viewing.
Having a saved, offline search of Foursquare venues stored on your device can come quite in handy when you are traveling abroad and want to avoid the expensive roaming fees, or when you will be traveling somewhere with spotty coverage.
6. 4sq Badge Crawl
Foursquare has some pretty fun and interesting core badges that users can unlock while exploring their cities. While there are many Web sites with extensive lists and details on how to unlock badges, they don't provide many personalized details for you to unlock badges.
Enter 4sq Badge Crawl.
4sq Badge Crawl reads your Foursquare account and compares your check-ins to known badges that you don't have. It then tells you the exact venue and amount of times you need to check in to obtain a particular badge.
Though this takes away from some of the gaming aspect, it is definitely a tool that can be used to earn those hard-to-unlock badges.
Foursquare held its first ever hack day earlier this year with the hopes of some fantastic third-party apps coming out of it. It did not disappoint. One of our favorite apps to come out of the Foursquare hack day is 4squareand7yearsago.
The unique service e-mails you a daily report of where you were exactly one year ago, based on your check-ins from Foursquare.
It is a lot of fun to see where you were, and who you were with, exactly one year ago. It can bring back some funny memories, or leave you puzzled as to why you checked in to the hospital at 3 a.m.
All of the services listed require you to authorize each of them to access your Foursquare account. If you are a bit hesitant regarding privacy, please make sure to read through our guide on taking control of your Foursquare account privacy.
If you have a favorite Foursquare service that isn't listed here, be sure to add it in the comments below!