For when a place is more than just a place, we now have events
It’s one of the most common check-ins on foursquare: you head off to a movie theater, check in, and type in ‘Harry Potter’ to tell people what you’re seeing. Or check in to a stadium and shout ‘Patriots game’ or ‘Lady Gaga concert.’ Sometimes, people will even create a new venue, like ‘U2 at the Meadowlands,’ to make sure they share the concert with all their friends. In moments like this, a place is often more than just a place; so today, we’re starting to pull major events into our database.
During the past two SXSW conferences, we tried something similar, letting people check in to all the events happening around Austin. The feedback was incredible; it was easier to share what you were up to, and it’s great to look back a year later and remember what was going on. To build that on a larger scale, though, we needed to be smarter about what’s happening around you. So we’ve teamed up with three amazing partners: ESPN for sports events, MovieTickets.com for movies, and Songkick for concerts.
- ESPN is not only providing us with event details, but also information about the game. Tap on the event and see info, like, from a recent game: “Did you know CC Sabathia is 5-0 against the Orioles this season, but the Orioles are on a 9 game winning streak. Something has to break.” For more info on how this works, check out ESPN’s announcement.
- MovieTickets.com adds another cool dimension – see not only showtimes, but help decide what you want to see with summaries and links to more info.
- In addition to giving us concert details, Songkick is launching a competition to win a year’s worth of free concert tickets to celebrate the launch of our partnership with them! Check out this page for more details.
All told, that means hundreds of thousands of events at more than 50,000 venues in the next few months (each event appears in the app a couple hours before it starts). Now, when you check in to a place with one of those things happening, you’ll be able to check in to the event, too. It’s a great way to include big events and save the shout-typing time, without creating too much clutter in our UI. And we’re looking at ways to expand that further.
Events also make your check-ins more interesting. Instead of just seeing which of your friends are at the movies, also see which of them have seen 30 Minutes or Less (or if any of your friends actually saw The Smurfs). See what your buddies’ music tastes are, not just the places they go to listen. And, for the die-hard Twins fans, it’s great to to be able to know how many games you’ve attended.
So, when you’re out at a show this weekend, give event check-ins a go. It’s on the iPhone (no need to upgrade!) and foursquare.com right now (and coming to other platforms soon), and we’re interested to see how you like it.
UPDATE: Thanks for all the questions in the comments. We’re thinking about venues and users creating events, but want to make sure we do it right. We’ll let you know when we figure out what it should look like!