A Week on Foursquare

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We collected every check-in on location-sharing service Foursquare for a week starting at noon Eastern on Friday, Jan. 21 until noon on Friday Jan. 28. Foursquare, which provided the data, removed all material that could identify an individual user.
4.4+ million in the United States2.2+ million while eatingOver 10.9 millioncheck-ins — that’s more than 1.5 million a day
6.5+ million by male users4.1+ million by femalesWe looked most closely at Foursquare’s home base of New York City and at the U.S. technology capital, San Francisco. Below, see where people checked in around New York City over the course of the week.
Check-ins in:New York City310,000+Bay Area190,000+
New York City and San Francisco were among the first cities where people started using Foursquare, and the company’s founders say it’s because the service spread first among their own friends.
Now, Foursquare provides an interesting look at how the cities are alike and different — at least when it comes to this young, tech-friendly population.
In many ways, the cities are the same. A category that is popular in New York is likely to be popular in the Bay Area; check-in categories in the two areas have about an 92% correlation.
The categories where the two cities were most similar? Gyms, parks, American food, trains, movie theaters and dessert places.
The biggest differences: New Yorkers go for bars, train stations and corporate offices, while Bay Area residents prefer coffee shops, grocery stores, gas stations and light rail.
Distribution of Venues World-WideOut of the 2,197,870 venues with a category assigned, and at least one check-in during the week, 44.5% had just one check-in. Just 2,500 venues had 100 or more check-ins.
The most popular had more than 13,000 over the week, and the second most had almost 7,000.
Venue popularity dropped off very quickly, but had an extremely long tail. The average number of check-ins per venues was 4, and the median was 2.

Notes: Data collection was temporarily interrupted in the midnight hour Sunday morning. Check-ins for New York City are counted as check-ins within the five boroughs. Check-ins for the Bay Area are those within the municipalities defined in this shapefile. When check-ins are shown by category, similar categories were combined. At the time of data collection, several different “Snowpocalypse” venues existed which were later merged by Foursquare.

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