Remember when Jay-Z released an a capella version of “The Black Album?” The next couple of years saw two major hits featuring vocal samples of Jay as their entire hooks (T.I.’s “Bring ‘Em Out” and Cassidy’s “I’m A Hustla”). Foursquare is utilizing a similar technique for their application programming, publishing the information to see what results when others use it.
Foursquare will be releasing their Push API to the public later this afternoon. The API was first unveiled to developers in February, but in anticipation of Saturday’s company-sanctioned global hackathon, Foursquare has elected to release the code to every aspiring app designer to see what comes back.
One early developer-built app that used the API intriguingly is Matt McCormick’s 4sqtransit, which sends public transit schedule updates to users when they check in to a specific stop. The company utilized Foursquare’s transit stop check-in data and combined it with transit scheduling data from a separate database.
Foursquare’s move indicates a desire for the company to expand its brand possibilities by utilizing the internet’s unique ability to build and edit practical concepts, ideas and code through communities of similar interests. It seems to be a smart tactical move because any innovation that comes out involving Foursquare’s API will inextricably be linked back to Foursquare’s technology, and yet they pay no development costs.