@mrshri We made some recent changes to how Mayorships are calculated. Only check-ins when you’re at a venue count.
— foursquare support (@4sqSupport) December 7, 2010
Way back in April â€” you know, some 4 million plus users ago â€” foursquare announced they were rolling out an anti-cheater code to stop “some of the folks that are checking in from their couches to steal mayorships.” That announcement left a hole big enough to drive a truck through, however: users could still use the mobile site to check in and earn mayorships, badges and points no matter where they were in the world. This week foursquare made a major change that helps to plug that hole by removing the ability to earn mayorships through the mobile site, while leaving the ability to earn badges and points.
With more and more businesses offering rewards to their mayors, it’s important for the businesses and other users to know that the mayor is someone who has actually been to (or at least near) the business. To do that, foursquare will only allow GPS-verified checkins to count toward the mayorship total. They recommend using one of foursquare’s official apps to check in â€” something that’s only possible on a smartphone.
It’s a shame that a few cheaters have forced foursquare to take this action, since there are still lots of users without smartphones who use the mobile website to check in. They’ll still be able to play for badges and points, of course, but for many people their mayorships are a big deal and defending them was one of the main reasons they continued playing foursquare.[poll id="13"]
UPDATE (January 18): Foursquare recently began alerting users to this change when they check in from the mobile web by displaying the message below. It links to a post on their support site describing the limitations and capabilities of the mobile site.