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Location-based check-in service Foursquare just announced on its blog that is has officially released the second version of its application programming interface, or API, in beta. The first version of its API, used by third-party developers to build software that connects to Foursquare’s services, will still be functional, but will probably phase out in a few months, according to the company.

Rumors of the new API surfaced several weeks ago when Foursquare cofounder Naveen Selvadurai engaged a user on Quora, a question and answer site, about where they could get place data for a check-in application. At the time the new API was in an early testing phase, but it appears the company was looking for applications to test it. 

The company lists several updates:

  • OAuth2 is much easier to use, more secure for users, and can even be used entirely from client-side Javascript.
  • By dropping XML support, we’ve been able to make the server more responsive (but not 1000x faster; sorry).
  • There’s extensive documentation that includes sample applications and an API explorer.
  • A lot of work was put into consistency and clarity.
  • And last but not least, we’ve added oft-requested new endpoints for fetching user’s badges, user’s venue histories, and venue popularity.

The new API comes on the heels of cofounder and chief executive Dennis Crowley mentioning that the company now has 5 million users, is adding 25,000 new users daily, and is seeing more than 2 million check-ins a day. The company also recently decided to add a full team of engineers in San Francisco to help with growth.

The New York City-based company, founded in 2009, has raised more than $21 million in funding and currently has close to 40 employees.

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