Foursquare Superuser Status

Posted by Chris on April 26, 2010

Recently, the location-based service, Foursquare, crossed the one million user mark and since then they have not looked back. The company is growing their user base at a nice clip and as more people use the social media service, the more venues are created. While this is absolutely encouraged by Foursquare since it helps expand the service, it could lead to a lot of duplicate venues.

This is when a “Superuser” comes into play. Foursquare Superusers are users who are very active with the service and are handpicked by the Foursquare staff. These users are usually people who have checked into a lot of venues and spent time creating new venues. Superusers play an important role in the Foursquare service because they improve the service by editing venues, merging duplicate venues, closing fake venues, adding aliases, adding useful tags, removing incorrect tags, and ultimately keeping the database nice and clean.

Currently, there are three Superuser levels and each level comes with its own special privileges. The three levels are as follows:

Superuser Level 1: User can edit venue information (name, address, cross street, phone number, and Twitter name), mark venues as “closed,” request duplicate venues to be merged, and add venue categories.

Superuser Level 2: User can edit venue information (name, address, cross street, phone number, and Twitter name), mark venues as “closed,” merge duplicate venues themselves, and add venue categories.

Superuser Level 3: User can edit venue information (name, address, cross street, phone number, and Twitter name), mark venues as “closed,” merge duplicate venues themselves, add venue categories, and create aliases for venues.

If you are interested in getting upgraded to Superuser status, I recommend checking into venues and creating venues as often as possible since this is what could land you Superuser status. The Foursquare staff will occasionally upgrade a select group of users to Superuser status as they are needed so it is not necessary for users to request an upgrade.

As a side note, Foursquare is very protective of aliases since they could cause a lot of problems in the data set if users don’t add them properly. Therefore, since Superuser Level 3 status allows users to add aliases, it’s rare that this level is given as an upgrade.

However, since I’ve been contributing to the Foursquare community for a while, I was fortunate to snag Superuser Level 3 status. Although this level allows a user to perform most of the necessary tasks to keep the service up-to-date and running smoothly, there are a few privileges that I believe could be even more beneficial to the Foursquare service if given to Superuser Level 3 users. These privileges include:

  • Ability to edit and delete venue tips that are off topic or inappropriate.
  • Ability to semi-lock a venue. This will prevent Superuser Levels 1 & 2 from editing or closing a venue.
  • Ability to rollback changes that were made to the venue. Although Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley told me this will be implemented, I’m not sure if all Superusers will have this ability.
    [Credit: My UK buddy, @Joel_Hughes]

If you have any other Superuser privileges in mind that you think would benefit the Foursquare service feel free to share your thoughts below.

Please note: Superuser status should not be confused with the Foursquare badge, “Super User.”