When the New York start-up Foursquare Labs made its debut in 2009, it quickly began popularizing the idea of “checking in,” or using a cellphone application to tell friends that you are at a particular restaurant, bar or park.
Chris Goodney/Bloomberg News
Dennis Crowley, the chief executive and one of the founders of Foursquare, attributed the company’s continued momentum to its focus on location.
Then Facebook and Google borrowed the concept — and even the term check in. Analysts and users alike wondered if those Internet giants would squash Foursquare like a bug.
Thus far, it seems, Foursquare is holding its ground. The company said this week that it had hit 10 million registered users, though it would not say how many of those are active.
And on Thursday, Foursquare plans to introduce its largest partnership to date: a national deal with American Express to offer discounts to cardholders when they check in on their cellphone at certain shops and restaurants.
Foursquare users are accustomed to receiving awards in the form of coupons and digital merit badges. But more substantial deals like those being offered to American Express cardholders may bring Foursquare and other location-based services further into the mainstream.