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12/10/2010
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Foursquare Unwraps API Version 2 Beta

Latest iteration uses OAuth2, not XML, to improve server responsiveness.

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Just in time for the holidays, Foursquare unwrapped a gift for developers with the beta release of version 2 of the Foursquare API.

The application programming interface, which has been under development for almost a year, hit a milestone when developers used only the API to build the Foursquare Android client, released earlier this week, said Kushal Dave, software engineer at Foursquare.

Foursquare's latest API is easier to use, more secure for end users, includes more consistency and clarity, and can be accessed entirely from client-side Javascript, according to the developer. The company dropped XML support in favor of OAuth2 to make the server more responsive, and added extensive documentation featuring sample applications and an API explorer, said Dave.

"And last but not least, we've added oft-requested new endpoints for fetching users' badges, users' venue histories, and venue popularity," he added. "We're well aware that there are many other things you want from our API (push notifications, venue management, and better venue search and trending information, among others), and we're working on adding those features. But we believe this is a step in the right direction, making it even easier to build cool applications for our 5 million enthusiastic users and giving you incomparable access to our repository of millions of curated venues and user-created tips and hundreds of millions of check-ins."

The location-based social networking company is adding 25,000 new users per day, and now has more than 5 million users across an array of mobile devices, said co-founder Dennis Crowley, during a presentation at LeWeb in Paris. The majority -- or about 60% -- are in the United States, and they check in about three to four times a day, he said.

The three-year-old company updated its homepage and friend-finding tools in November. In June, Foursquare received a $20 million infusion of cash from Union Square Ventures, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and its newest partner, Andreessen Horowitz.

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