Event Check-Ins: Now Foursquare Knows What You’re Doing, Too

August 27, 2011

1:00 pm

This week, Foursquare has seen users frantically checking in at Tuesday’s earthquake, and East Coasters are already vying to be a major part of Hurricane Irene. It was behavior like this—where users create a location that’s really an event—that spurred Foursquare to roll out a new feature this month: event check-ins. According to their blog:

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).

To kick off events, Foursquare is partnering with ESPN, MovieTickets.com, and Songkick to fill its database with sporting events, movies, and concerts. Users who check in can see extras like game scores and trivia, movie showtimes, and ticket giveaways.

Venues and users are clamoring for the ability to add events to Foursquare’s database, and that may happen in the future.  Foursquare assured them: “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!”

If venues could create events, they would draw in even more customers from Foursquare, by listing events like hurricane parties and Friday night happy hours. One commenter even suggested integrating with Facebook events, which many venues already create.

Foursquare boasts that event check-ins are more “interesting” for users, but they also happen to generate a lot of interesting data for Foursquare, which could power targeted deals and advertising:

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.

Event check-ins are currently available on Foursquare’s iPhone and web apps.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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