Foursquare Places API Adds Telephone Search Capability

Places API

Foursquare’s Places API has been enhanced to detect phone number queries and return points of interest (POIs) associated with that number. Better yet, this doesn’t just apply to numbers in the local area but globally as well – no new field or updates to clients required. Any numeric search (dashes, dots or periods, parenthesis, and spaces are’ accounted for) will now be considered a phone number and can be used to source the most relevant result. For example, ‘(123) 456-7890’, ‘123.456.7890’ or 1234567890 would all be acceptable formats and be considered valid telephone search queries. If a country code is not provided in the query the API will default to the country code associated with the user’s IP address.

Sample Place Search query using (847) 299-6601 as the query input

This feature only enhances the powerful capabilities of the Places API and builds on the number of applicable use cases. Given the growing number of phone call applications, being able to determine which city a call is coming from and if it belongs to a business can provide useful information to users. It’s an all too common situation to answer a spam call when met with an unknown number. Imagine being notified if this unknown number is a local business or a spam call you can ignore. In turn, as users become less and less likely to answer unknown numbers, this feature lets developers build systems that can help businesses increase the number of answered calls.

Sample query using the API explorer in the Developer docs

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