Foursquare hit the truly impressive 1 billion mark for check-ins this week. The continuous surge in the service’s popularity combines with recent business options to make Foursquare a powerful marketing opportunity.
To celebrate, Foursquare heat-mapped the check-ins for the week prior to hitting a billion:
Considering that Foursquare hit 100 million check-ins just 14 months ago (July 2010), the benchmark showcases phenomenal growth. As we noted when Foursquare hit 10 million users, the momentum for this 2-and-a-half-year-old location-based social network is continuing to increase.
Why? There are plenty of reasons, including frequent updates to the services and features offered by the site.
Just recently, Foursquare added a new privacy setting that lets users have their home stored on Foursquare without broadcasting their physical address.
Foursquare also released a new self-service option for businesses that lets small-business owners take advantage of promotional opportunities on Foursquare more easily. As more businesses make Foursquare a part of their standard practice, more customers check in.
Perhaps just as important, smartphones with GPS and advanced app capabilities are becoming more standard. According to comScore, the U.S. alone had more than 80 million smartphone users as of July, and nearly 20 percent of smartphone owners have used a check-in service on their phone.
As for potential marketing opportunities, we've previously looked at "World of Fourcraft." ClickZ also reported on "Foursquaropoly," a concept which caused a bit of a stir among advertisers earlier this month.