HubSpot, the company that created Twitter Grader, has launched their latest tool, Square Grader. The tool simply analyzes your usage on the location-based social media site, Foursquare, and gives you a grade and rank based on comparison to other Foursquare users who have already been graded. Since Square Grader is still in its early development stage, it might take several weeks or perhaps months before the database grows and has a large enough sample to make the grade and rank accurate. Although this tool is for amusement purposes only, let’s take a quick look how the grades are generated.
It is rare for a company to publicly discuss their algorithm details simply because there are people out there who are always trying to game the system. However, according to HubSpot Co-Founder, Dharmesh Shah, Square Grader uses several algorithm factors when measuring your Foursquare grade. Although Dharmesh did not go into detail about the priority or weight of each factor, he did mention some of the factors that are taken into account when measuring your grade.
For starters, Foursquare “Check-ins” obviously play a role in the algorithm because as you know without check-ins you will be unable to unlock badges or become mayor of a venue. Another factor that plays a role in your Foursquare grade is the number of “Mayorships” you currently hold. The more mayorships you hold should lead to a higher Foursquare grade. As I mentioned, the weight of these factors have not been disclosed, but in my opinion the number of “Unlocked Badges” you have and the level of difficulty of each badge might be the most weighted factor when calculating the score. So, while there are probably several other factors that go into the calculation of the score, these are the most obvious.
To see your Foursquare grade and rank simply visit Square Grader and login to your Fousquare account. Foursquare supports OAuth (Open Authorization), an open protocol that allows you to share your content stored on one site with another site without having to forfeit your login credentials, therefore, you don’t need to worry about providing Square Grader with your username and password. After clicking the “Allow” button to grant access to your Foursquare account, Square Grader will handle the rest and begin calculating your score. Once the calculation is complete you will be presented with a “Grader Report” that includes an Account Summary, Badge Summary, Suggested Next Badge, Mayorship Summary, and a list of your friends that you can also grade.
I consider myself a Foursquare power user so I find it interesting to see where I rank among my family, friends, and colleagues. As the database grows your Foursquare grade will fluctuate so you might want to check back on occasion to see how you measure up with other Foursquare users. Keep in mind that Foursquare is only a one year old company that is quickly approaching 1 million users, therefore, as Foursquare grows so should Square Grader.
So, what is your Square Grade?