Foursquare announced Tuesday that this location-based service hit a billion check-ins, which is a pretty big milestone for a fairly new social networking site. Launched two years ago in March 2009, foursquare now has more than 10 million users worldwide. This location-based mobile platform is popular internationally with approximately 50 percent of users who check in from outside the U.S.

When it comes down to the foursquare vs. Facebook Places face-off, who wins?

foursquare. Hands down.


  • Mayorships: First of all, Facebook Places doesn’t reward users with points and incentives like foursquare does. Check in to a place more than anyone else and you’ll get crowned the “Mayor” with your username and photo featured for that place. Talk about user loyalty. Sadly, I have yet to become a mayor.
  • Badges: As of now, foursquare has 166 current active badges to unlock. These virtual badges are earned based on your check-in habits to various venues. Foursquare is always adding new badges and is also very secretive about how to unlock them. Foursquare has a “Douchebag,” “I’m on a boat,” and “Gym Rat” badge. They also have a “Real Housewife,”Socialite,” and “JetSetter” badge.
  • Tips & To-Dos: Every foursquare user can create both “Tips” and “To-Dos” for places. Tips let you read your friends’ recommendations or write recommendations of your own (e.g., “If you need to study late, this is the perfect spot. This place is open longer than other nearby stores!”). To-Dos, on the other hand, is like your own personal, virtual notepad. These are “notes to self” that help you remind yourself of things in the future (e.g., “Come back and try the fettuccine alfredo pasta!).
  • Free Discounts & Offers: Many restaurant chains are interacting with foursquare to set up cool specials for customers. For example, Chili’s Grill & Bar has offered free chips and salsa for every foursquare check-in in the past. Just recently during my trip to Boston, I got $1 off for my frozen yogurt purchase at Red Mango. These promotions vary from city to city and may be limited time offers, but it’s one of those perks that brighten up your day and save you some money once you catch them.

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