Foursquare grew by 3,400% in 2010, according to the company, with total check-ins reaching 381,576,305 around the world (in every country) - plus one from outer space, when an astronaut checked in from the International Space Station in October. It has 6 million users.
Restaurants are by far the most popular places to check into, but a lot of people are checking in at all kinds of other places, like offices, shops, clubs, movies, parks, schools, etc.
Businesses are continuing to look for ways to harness the location-based service to drive customers. Some are succeeding. The biggest brands on the service are MTV, Bravo, the History Channel, ZAGAT, and VH1. While the average small business may not be able to emulate the success of large TV brands with the service, it may still prove useful to explore the ways these brands have used Foursquare, to generate some ideas to implement.
Foursquare posted the following infographic to its blog:
CEO Dennis Crowley appeared on stage along with Groupon CEO Andrew Mason today at DLD11 in Germany. There, he talked about Foursquare's platform a bit, noting that developers can use it to create other things around the service, and that is a key component of the Foursquare phenomenon to remain aware of.
How much of Twitter’s usefulness (and ultimately success) has been cultivated by third-party applications? You can expect to see a great deal of this around Foursquare, which Crowley has been touting as a great tool for local commerce (not just for big brands).
Foursquare is already displaying a gallery of 100 third-party apps that are using its API. If you're looking for specific use cases for Foursquare for your business, or to see some ways your customers might be using it, I suggest spending a little time browsing this gallery.