studying foursquare
mattias rost
university of glasgow
Design, Build, Study
Design, Build, Study
Mobile social media
Two studies of foursquare
• Interview based study
Cramer, H., Rost, M., and Holmquist L. E. (2011). Performing a Check-in:...
Checking in
Tips
Mayor
Friends
• "researchers conclude that people are hesitant to
share their location and would only do so when
they see a clear need t...
• "researchers conclude that people are hesitant to
share their location and would only do so when
they see a clear need t...
two alternatives
• 1) The researchers were wrong, because people
share their location through foursquare with no
“clear ne...
Interviews
• 20 in depth interviews with foursquare users (15M,
5F. US, .se, .nl)
• 30-150 minutes
• students in their ear...
Questions about
• motivations for checking in
• with whom they shared
• which locations they would and would not share
• l...
The act (checking in)
• Coordination
• Tell people you have arrived somewhere, or to invite people
to come join you
• Impr...
audience-less
• Something to do
• “If your business meeting is boring for a moment
then you think, oh yeah, I could check ...
Audience
• 1-92 foursquare friends
• “actual friends”, “colleagues”, “work contacts”,
“supervisors”, “partners”, “siblings...
• “I'm only friends with people [for whom] I know I
can check in anywhere”
• “People I wouldn’t want to have a beer with I...
Considering the outside
• “I don't know what notifications they have, so I don't
know whether it's going to buzz his iPhone...
Twitter & FB
• More hesitant to share cross media
• Avoid “Oversharing”
• Privacy concerns – Who’s following you on Twitte...
Venues
• Venue creation as a means of expression
• ‘in your pants’, ’heatpocalypse’, ’drop your pants’
• “Because it is an...
“Rules”
• What is a venue?
• “what happens now is we begin to construct our
own rules, because there aren't rules”
• While...
“Route 12 in the annoying
traffic jam”
• “you’ll never find that in the phone book, such a
place, but you can see a lot of p...
Acceptabel check-ins
• “I hate people who check into their homes. […] I
had a friend who checked in to his home all the
ti...
Fake check-ins
• Faux pas
• Checking up on: “...just to check whether [he] was
really there. Like, you’re checking in so o...
Rewards
• Sharing for reward, rather than utility
• Stealing mayorships
• Badges: incentive increase specific behaviours
• ...
Unwanted rewards
• Mayor was social signal of ownership
• “it felt like it was more my place and like, in a social
sense, ...
Service rules
“Too many check-ins, no
points”
“Must be using it wrong”
Physicality
• Considering those co-present
• “If I'm with multiple people, I usually check in
earlier. If I'm with one per...
• “I've been caught by my wife, ehm… doing it under
the table. I pulled it out, like, like at breakfast, like
what are you...
• Invites “non-users” & engage fellow users
• Shared activity among users, e.g. competition who
can do it first under the t...
Utility or game?
• use <-> play
• user <-> player
Norms and conflicts
• evolve as people learn what is a check-in, and
expect other’s to do the same
• conflicts between diffe...
Why check in?
• by product
• check-ins for me (now for recommendations)
• rewards / game
Something to do!
while considerin...
Conclusion
• ‘No clear need’ … but people ‘Do foursquare’ as a
need. We play, we laugh, we like to be entertained.
foursqu...
People say, People do
Studies of behaviour
• Facebook relationship status -> relationship
formation and breakup
• Status updates -> happiness, w...
Representative?
• What is the data representing?
• Data cleaning… is it transforming the data into
something we want it to...
Example
• Cheng et al. “Exploring Millions of Footprints in
Location Sharing Services” ICWSM’11
Communication
• Action, not status
• Communication, rather than representation of state
Our Data
• Foursquare check-ins over 8 weeks, 2010-2011
• Firehose of realtime check-ins
Venue name, category, location, g...
Analysis
• Exploratory analysis
• Filtering, Counting, Ordering
• Mysql -> Python parsing raw text files
E.g.
> python topVenues newyork.txt 2010-11-15 | head 5!
Radioshack 1323!
Starbucks 53!
MoMa 50!
Eataly NYC 35!
High Line ...
Nov 8-Dec5
• 5,499,469 venues
• 7.6 check-ins to each venue (Md=2, Var=46.7)
• Long tail
• Top 20% venues, 74% of the chec...
• Americas: 24M check-ins, 2.9M venues
• Asia: 13M check-ins, 1.8M venues
• Europe: 4.4M check-ins, 770k venues
• Africa: ...
# Check-ins Venue
1 26 159 Siam Paragon (shopping mall), Bangkok
2 18 140 Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), US
3 17...
# Check-ins Venue
1 26 159 Siam Paragon (shopping mall), Bangkok
2 18 140 Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), US
3 17...
Local events
• #5: public studio for recording TV shows
• #13 & #19: Macy’s thanksgiving parade
• #39 Conan blimp (Badge f...
“Snowpocalypse”
• Large numbers of weather related ‘venues’ (85)
• January 25th 2011, snowfall record held since 1925
• Fr...
• Snowpocalypse as a foursquare phenomenon
External factors
• Radioshack
• 5 check-ins on the 12th of november
• 1323 check-ins on the 15th of november
• Top 10 most...
Humour
• Mis-categorizations
• Home -> Strip joint (27
instances)
• Invented locations
• ‘Faux-tini’
• ‘In your pants’
Questionable
• midnight - 6am
!
• Fake, or something else?
So?
• So what have we looked at?
• Examples of communication within Foursquare over
a period of time, sharing experiences
...
Check-in != Location
• #check-ins != #visitors
• Snowpocalypse started on Foursquare, not by snow
• External factors motiv...
Situation sharing
• Shapchat + Foursquare
• ephemeral venues, serendipitous events
Snapsquare!
@rrostt
http://rost.me
Studying foursquare
Studying foursquare
Studying foursquare
Studying foursquare
Studying foursquare
Studying foursquare
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Studying foursquare

  1. 1. studying foursquare mattias rost university of glasgow
  2. 2. Design, Build, Study
  3. 3. Design, Build, Study Mobile social media
  4. 4. Two studies of foursquare • Interview based study Cramer, H., Rost, M., and Holmquist L. E. (2011). Performing a Check-in: Emerging Practices, Norms and ‘Conflicts’ in Location-Sharing Using Foursquare. In proceedings of MobileHCI’11, Stockholm, Sweden. • Exploratory data analysis Rost, M., Barkhuus, L., Cramer, H. and Brown, B. (2013) Representation and communication: Challenges in interpreting large social media datasets. In Proceedings of CSCW’13, Feb 23-27, San Antonio, Texas.
  5. 5. Checking in Tips Mayor Friends
  6. 6. • "researchers conclude that people are hesitant to share their location and would only do so when they see a clear need to do so and usefulness to the people they would share their location with or request it.” - (Wagner et al. MobileHCI ’10)
  7. 7. • "researchers conclude that people are hesitant to share their location and would only do so when they see a clear need to do so and usefulness to the people they would share their location with or request it.” - (Wagner et al. MobileHCI ’10)
  8. 8. two alternatives • 1) The researchers were wrong, because people share their location through foursquare with no “clear need to do so” • or • 2) There is a need with the foursquare check-in that is not understood
  9. 9. Interviews • 20 in depth interviews with foursquare users (15M, 5F. US, .se, .nl) • 30-150 minutes • students in their early 20s, to professionals in late 30s • bus driver, IT consultant, event organiser working from home, students, researchers
  10. 10. Questions about • motivations for checking in • with whom they shared • which locations they would and would not share • likes/dislikes about the service • influence of incentives • perceptions of other’s use of the service
  11. 11. The act (checking in) • Coordination • Tell people you have arrived somewhere, or to invite people to come join you • Impression management / story telling • sharing lifestyle • Choose to checking in or not check in tells a story • Mayorships, points • Promoting a place (c.f. Facebook like)
  12. 12. audience-less • Something to do • “If your business meeting is boring for a moment then you think, oh yeah, I could check in now” • Diary / tracking • “I did check in to the restaurant we went for lunch. Because it was kind of cool and if I check in I can remember it” • Sharing is rather a “by-product”
  13. 13. Audience • 1-92 foursquare friends • “actual friends”, “colleagues”, “work contacts”, “supervisors”, “partners”, “siblings”, “parents”, “people i don’t know who requested to be my friend”
  14. 14. • “I'm only friends with people [for whom] I know I can check in anywhere” • “People I wouldn’t want to have a beer with I wouldn’t add on foursquare”
  15. 15. Considering the outside • “I don't know what notifications they have, so I don't know whether it's going to buzz his iPhone at 2 in the morning or like, I don't know how he's got it set up, and so I was really hesitant”
  16. 16. Twitter & FB • More hesitant to share cross media • Avoid “Oversharing” • Privacy concerns – Who’s following you on Twitter? • The “wider” audience are not interested • Politeness
  17. 17. Venues • Venue creation as a means of expression • ‘in your pants’, ’heatpocalypse’, ’drop your pants’ • “Because it is an imaginary place, as opposed to a ‘venue’, I want to express myself in terms of place, not just create a history of my consumer behavior” ! • (friend checks in to places around the house depending on mood)
  18. 18. “Rules” • What is a venue? • “what happens now is we begin to construct our own rules, because there aren't rules” • While shared during check-in, also permanent record of named locations • Ephemeral in-crowd jokes, becomes permanent • Over specific: airport gates
  19. 19. “Route 12 in the annoying traffic jam” • “you’ll never find that in the phone book, such a place, but you can see a lot of people check-in, because they are stuck in the same place” ! • super user: “not a real venue” • “to have a full database of real places, instead of fantasy”
  20. 20. Acceptabel check-ins • “I hate people who check into their homes. […] I had a friend who checked in to his home all the time and he checked in at 7 PM and he’d go to the supermarket, and he checks in there, and he’d check in again at 9 PM [...] And I was just like, dude, what are you doing? I don't care that you're home, I'm not your mother.” • [Information Entropy] Unexpected checkins informational: expected checkins non-informational
  21. 21. Fake check-ins • Faux pas • Checking up on: “...just to check whether [he] was really there. Like, you’re checking in so often, that cannot be true” • Self-motivational: “…sometimes we go to places just to check in. But not just passing by, we actually have to be there.”
  22. 22. Rewards • Sharing for reward, rather than utility • Stealing mayorships • Badges: incentive increase specific behaviours • Discouraged when unattainable.
  23. 23. Unwanted rewards • Mayor was social signal of ownership • “it felt like it was more my place and like, in a social sense, than it was his place. But then he claimed it in the game, and that felt wrong to me.”
  24. 24. Service rules “Too many check-ins, no points” “Must be using it wrong”
  25. 25. Physicality • Considering those co-present • “If I'm with multiple people, I usually check in earlier. If I'm with one person I usually wait until that person has gone to the bathroom or something”
  26. 26. • “I've been caught by my wife, ehm… doing it under the table. I pulled it out, like, like at breakfast, like what are you doing? And I'm like... she's like: ‘you're checking in to foursquare’ she's like: ‘that's not coming here. Like, it’s Sunday morning, like what are you doing?’”
  27. 27. • Invites “non-users” & engage fellow users • Shared activity among users, e.g. competition who can do it first under the table
  28. 28. Utility or game? • use <-> play • user <-> player
  29. 29. Norms and conflicts • evolve as people learn what is a check-in, and expect other’s to do the same • conflicts between different style and purpose • is a traffic jam a venue? • is an event a venue? • can a venue be ephemeral?
  30. 30. Why check in? • by product • check-ins for me (now for recommendations) • rewards / game Something to do! while considering the audience
  31. 31. Conclusion • ‘No clear need’ … but people ‘Do foursquare’ as a need. We play, we laugh, we like to be entertained. foursquare full fills a need: entertainment and communication. • Location as action, not state • Not where people are, but what people communicate
  32. 32. People say, People do
  33. 33. Studies of behaviour • Facebook relationship status -> relationship formation and breakup • Status updates -> happiness, wellbeing • Location-updates -> travel patterns and behaviours • Location tracking -> Social events, human mobility
  34. 34. Representative? • What is the data representing? • Data cleaning… is it transforming the data into something we want it to be?
  35. 35. Example • Cheng et al. “Exploring Millions of Footprints in Location Sharing Services” ICWSM’11
  36. 36. Communication • Action, not status • Communication, rather than representation of state
  37. 37. Our Data • Foursquare check-ins over 8 weeks, 2010-2011 • Firehose of realtime check-ins Venue name, category, location, gender, timestamp, timezone, badge
  38. 38. Analysis • Exploratory analysis • Filtering, Counting, Ordering • Mysql -> Python parsing raw text files
  39. 39. E.g. > python topVenues newyork.txt 2010-11-15 | head 5! Radioshack 1323! Starbucks 53! MoMa 50! Eataly NYC 35! High Line 26!
  40. 40. Nov 8-Dec5 • 5,499,469 venues • 7.6 check-ins to each venue (Md=2, Var=46.7) • Long tail • Top 20% venues, 74% of the check-ins • 37% (1,963,091) had 1 check-in
  41. 41. • Americas: 24M check-ins, 2.9M venues • Asia: 13M check-ins, 1.8M venues • Europe: 4.4M check-ins, 770k venues • Africa: 110k check-ins, 23k venues ! • Top 100 venues: 55 America, 39 Asia, 6 Europe
  42. 42. # Check-ins Venue 1 26 159 Siam Paragon (shopping mall), Bangkok 2 18 140 Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), US 3 17 224 MoMA Museum of modern art, NY 4 16 878 John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) 5 16 804 NBC Studio 1A Today Show, NY, US 6 16 564 Madison Square Garden, NY, US 7 16 404 Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Int. Airport, US 8 15 967 San Francisco International Airport, US 9 15 239 Chicago O'Hare International Airport, US 10 12 460 New York Penn Station, NY, US # Check-ins Venue 1 26 159 Siam Paragon (shopping mall), Bangkok 2 18 140 Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), US 3 17 224 MoMA Museum of modern art, NY 4 16 878 John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) 5 16 804 NBC Studio 1A Today Show, NY, US 6 16 564 Madison Square Garden, NY, US 7 16 404 Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Int. Airport, US 8 15 967 San Francisco International Airport, US 9 15 239 Chicago O'Hare International Airport, US 10 12 460 New York Penn Station, NY, US
  43. 43. # Check-ins Venue 1 26 159 Siam Paragon (shopping mall), Bangkok 2 18 140 Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), US 3 17 224 MoMA Museum of modern art, NY 4 16 878 John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) 5 16 804 NBC Studio 1A Today Show, NY, US 6 16 564 Madison Square Garden, NY, US 7 16 404 Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Int. Airport, US 8 15 967 San Francisco International Airport, US 9 15 239 Chicago O'Hare International Airport, US 10 12 460 New York Penn Station, NY, US # Check-ins Venue 1 26 159 Siam Paragon (shopping mall), Bangkok 2 18 140 Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), US 3 17 224 MoMA Museum of modern art, NY 4 16 878 John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) 5 16 804 NBC Studio 1A Today Show, NY, US 6 16 564 Madison Square Garden, NY, US 7 16 404 Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Int. Airport, US 8 15 967 San Francisco International Airport, US 9 15 239 Chicago O'Hare International Airport, US 10 12 460 New York Penn Station, NY, US 2.5M annual visitors 7M annual visitors
  44. 44. Local events • #5: public studio for recording TV shows • #13 & #19: Macy’s thanksgiving parade • #39 Conan blimp (Badge for checking in)
  45. 45. “Snowpocalypse” • Large numbers of weather related ‘venues’ (85) • January 25th 2011, snowfall record held since 1925 • Freezepocalypse, Slushpocalypse, … telling a story of the perceived conditions • Illustrates a shared experience
  46. 46. • Snowpocalypse as a foursquare phenomenon
  47. 47. External factors • Radioshack • 5 check-ins on the 12th of november • 1323 check-ins on the 15th of november • Top 10 most checked in venue for 3 days • 15th: Promotion, 10% off for a check-in + Badge when checked in to 5 stores • (Online data influenced by small features + local deviations)
  48. 48. Humour • Mis-categorizations • Home -> Strip joint (27 instances) • Invented locations • ‘Faux-tini’ • ‘In your pants’
  49. 49. Questionable • midnight - 6am ! • Fake, or something else?
  50. 50. So? • So what have we looked at? • Examples of communication within Foursquare over a period of time, sharing experiences • Not exhaustive or representative of what people do, but examples of how people communicate
  51. 51. Check-in != Location • #check-ins != #visitors • Snowpocalypse started on Foursquare, not by snow • External factors motivates checking in
  52. 52. Situation sharing • Shapchat + Foursquare • ephemeral venues, serendipitous events Snapsquare!
  53. 53. @rrostt http://rost.me

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