Recently there has been a lot of confusion about how mayorships are awarded on Foursquare. Hopefully this blog post will help clear up some of the confusion and provide users with a better understanding of how mayorship battles are won.
After doing some digging, I have noticed that more than 90% of the blogs, and even a few websites, I have read are feeding wrong information to its readers about how mayorships are awarded on Foursquare. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, mayorship information isn’t explained very well on the Foursquare website. According to Foursquare’s “Help” and “Learn More” Web pages, mayorships are awarded “If you’ve been to a place more than anyone else.” Although this information is posted on the Foursquare website, it’s not how the algorithm works. Since there has been a lot of questions surrounding this topic, I decided to send a tweet to Foursquare about this issue so they could clarify how mayorships are awarded on their website.
Nonetheless, let me explain how mayorships work. Foursquare mayorships are awarded to any user who has checked into a venue the most number of days within the past 60 days. In other words, you will only be awarded a mayorship based on the total number of days you check-in to a venue, not the total number of check-ins at a venue. For example, let’s say you check-in to the New York Sports Club 2x on Monday, 2x on Wednesday, and 2x Friday every week for 60 days. Now let’s say the current mayor of the club checks in 1x on Monday, 1x on Tuesday, 1x on Wednesday, and 1x Thursday every week for 60 days. According to your check-in history, you checked into the club 48x on 24 different days in the past 60 days. The current mayor checked in 32x on 32 different days in the past 60 days. Although you checked in at the club 16x more than the current mayor, he/she checked in 8 days more than you, hence the current mayor retains the crown.
If you are interested in seeing how close you are to ousting a mayor, take note of the number displayed when you mouseover a mayor’s picture on the venue page. This is the total number of check-ins for the mayor in the past 60 days.