BBC World News America Interviews foursquare Founder Dennis Crowley

foursquare founder Dennis Crowley spoke with BBC World News America for a Web-exclusive interview, during which he discussed the location-based mobile social-media app he created.

For the full interview, click here. Highlights from Crowley:

We wanted to build something that would help our friends, make it easier for our friends to get together more often. We meet up for happy hours; we meet up on Saturday nights. It turned out that we ended up building a system that was really encouraging people to go out and do things that they wouldn’t normally do.

Some users will use it just to keep track of where their friends are. Some people will use it to learn about the places that their friends go to so that they can go to those places. Some people use it to uncover these tips that people leave behind, like what to order at a restaurant or what to order at a particular bar. A lot of people use it just for the game mechanics because they want to be the mayor of their local bar and they want to try to earn the badges that we give out.

I think one of the big tipping points was last summer, when we started seeing venues — different bars and restaurants — in San Francisco actually hanging up fliers that were saying, “If you check in on foursquare, show us your phone and we’ll give you a dollar off,” or, “If you’re the mayor of this place, you get into the show for free.” And that really changed the way we thought about the service because we were really creating this relationship between the users and the places that they check into. Now we’ve got 2,000 different places across the world that are offering different foursquare specials like free glasses of wine, free appetizers, free hamburger, free pitchers of beer…I think that is going to be a big, interesting opportunity for us.