A Deeper Look at the foursquare Phenomenon; Where People Check-In

A Deeper Look at the foursquare Phenomenon; Where People Check-In

Recently, I wrote about the popular location based social network, foursquare, explaining all about how it can be used, why it’s helpful, and how to protect your privacy. But, looking deeper, I wanted to examine where people want to check-in and why people want to broadcast where they are in the first place.

This past June, BitsyBot Labs examined a week of foursquare check-ins and divided the results into eight categories; arts and entertainment, shopping, food, travel, parks, education, nightlife, and other. Unsurprisingly, the two most popular check-in location categories were food and shopping, which maintained high levels throughout the entire week. After all, who doesn’t love to eat and buy things?

What was surprising, however, was that the number of nightlife check-ins was so low. Foursquare, like many social media networks, has been touted as a tool for younger generations, the bar-hopping crowd who stays out till all hours of the night. But, from the chart below where BitsyBot Labs compares the number of food check-ins to nightlife check-ins, you can see the stark difference.

I, for one, was very proud when I unlocked the Zagat Foodie badge for eating at five different Zagat rated restaurants! Way more proud than becoming the mayor of the local bar. I mean, let’s face it; 29 Newbury Street Restaurant is way cooler than The Harp.

Check back next week to see why people are bothering to check-in in the first place! What are the reasons behind this motivation?


3 thoughts on “A Deeper Look at the foursquare Phenomenon; Where People Check-In

  1. At first glance the low nightlife check-ins may seem surprising given how foursquare is perceived as a social networking app.

    But why would you expect nightlife check-ins to to be higher in absolute numbers relative to food check-ins (or any other category)? Is it not true that even the younger “bar-hopping crowd” frequently eat a few meals each day. Even those among the younger generation, generally, do not go out for nightlife activities much more than a few times each week.

    I would be interested to see what would happen if you plotted check-ins on a logarithmic scale.

  2. Hi Dave – I completely agree, younger generations are proclaiming themselves “foodies” as much as the rest and it’s no surprise food is topping the charts. While I don’t expect nightlife check-ins to be number one, I am surprised it’s not a bit higher, especially as this chart is over the course of a week where you may expect to see higher spikes over the weekends. As it grows in popularity though, maybe the rest of the categories will come up in number of check-ins.

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