Our API and the foursquare developer community: from birth to 10,000 developers
Our API has been core to foursquare since the day we launched in March 2009, starting with the iPhone client. At the time, it was just something to make building foursquare easier, and we were still dreaming of one day getting over 10,000 people on foursquare. Today’s a pretty exciting day, because we now have over 10,000 developers who are building on our API! We’re an engineering company at our core, and this milestone really warms our hearts.
Shortly after we launched foursquare, an external Android client was built entirely off the semi-public API. We saw there was a lot of interest, so we launched a fully baked v1, created a forum, and built a directory of all the awesome external apps that were being built. We hosted hackathons, developer pizza parties, and, recently, launched a way-improved API v2 (which comes with better error reporting, OAuth2 for added security and easier monitoring, better structured explanations, a page for third-party libraries, sample apps, and tons of other resources).
We’ve seen some amazing apps and services built on our platform, which can power everything from simple web/SMS mash-ups hacked over a weekend, to month-long sweepstakes sending someone to space, to an innovative loyalty integration with American Express (which included seamless coupon redemption). Apps like Instagram, Foodspotting, and Venmo are using foursquare as their location layer. We’ve seen dogfood-distributing billboards, World of Fourcraft, and a New Year’s Eve party you could only get into by checking in.
10,000 incredible developers, all doing interesting things. That’s why we built this. And we can’t wait to see what else you come up with!