Happy First Birthday, Places API!

A lookback at the exciting first year of Foursquare’s New Places API

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They grow up so fast! On March 23, 2021, we launched the newest version of our Places API with an ambitious goal to redesign our already robust Venues API used by hundreds of thousands of companies and developers. After a year in the marketplace, the Places API has more than exceeded our expectations – and we’re not done yet!

In honor of our Places API’s first birthday, we wanted to take a walk down memory lane to celebrate all it has accomplished in its first year of existence and announce several exciting new feature launches to kick off its second year.

March 2021: Enterprise customers rejoice – Places API is born

First, there was the Foursquare API, connecting developers to our legacy Venues data. Originally built to meet the specific needs of only one organization – Foursquare itself – others quickly saw how a location data API could be used to build great user experience for their own apps and websites. Over the years, many of our customers benefited from the Foursquare API technology (Samsung, Uber, Twitter – to name a few).

While the Foursquare API continued to deliver value to customers, it was in need of an overhaul to handle the ever-growing demands of our industry and customers. So we rebuilt the API to help developers around the world deliver rich, location-aware experiences quickly and reliably. We improved its architecture, cutting average latency in half, and delivered more comprehensive global POI data by giving access to our newly integrated Places dataset after our merger with Factual.

All these improvements led to an availability service level agreement (SLA) of 99.9% and an improved developer experience, including our brand new API Explorer tool that makes it easy to test code snippets in-browser before needing to commit to code and simplified endpoints like Place Search, Details, Photos, and Tips.

September 2021: Accolaids and enhancements

After six months in the wild, the Places API was full steam ahead, impacting the industry as a whole. We were (and continue to be!) honored when API World recognized the value, performance, and quality of the Places API by selecting it as the 2021 “Best in Enterprise APIs” award recipient. This acknowledgement distinguished the Places API as best-in-class when it comes to meeting the nuanced needs of large scale, global enterprises, and was a gratifying validation of our hard work and commitment.

Never ones to rest on our laurels, we quickly got back to work and launched a feature update in the days that followed, unveiling our Autocomplete endpoint. Providing a live and dynamic searching experience for end users, Autocomplete helps to autofill places, addresses, cities and neighborhoods to deliver a better user experience, increasing engagement and satisfaction for our brand and developer partners.

November 2021: Places API for all, now Pay As You Go

While previously only available to our Enterprise clients, we at last made Places API available to all along with new, flexible Pay As You Go pricing. Anyone can now set up a free Foursquare Developer Account to access the API and, by setting up a project, can start receiving $200 a month in free usage credits.

Looking ahead: year two and beyond

As the Places API enters the terrific twos, we have more exciting plans for the future. In the near-term, that means new features and upgrades launching soon! Here’s a taste of what’s on the horizon:

Search and Filter by Price Points, Opening Hours, and more
Additional advanced search options are on the way! Developers will be able to craft even better user experiences with the ability to implement search options such as price filters, open hours, and the ability to exclude specific/all chains (live right now!).

New, unique data attributes like precise Geocodes, POI Features, and Census Blocks
The coverage and precision of our geocodes sets FSQ Places apart from the competition. Places API is now enhancing our dataset with additional, detailed geocodes (eg “front door location,” “roof top center”) to be more helpful for ridesharing/delivery use cases. In addition, we are adding Venue Tags (eg “takes reservations,” “has delivery”) as a new Rich field called “Features,” formatting address conventions to live on one line strings, and adding a Census Block ID attribute to help incorporate demographic information into analysis.

We are so thankful for everyone who has made our Places API their location data provider of choice. If you haven’t tried, Stay tuned to see what additional enhancements are in store!

Get Started with Places API

Click the Get Started link below to try the newest Places API and start accessing your $200 a month in free usage credits. Want to know how location data can boost your business? Reach out to us to learn more.

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