Foursquare has hired Andrew Hogue to beef up the company’s search and search-related initiatives and capabilities. Hogue was a senior engineer with Google from 2004 through November of this year.
The company recently announced it had passed 15 million users globally, 50 percent of which are outside the US.
We spoke to Hogue about a range of topics last week from New York, where Foursquare is headquartered and he will be based. Hogue brings some serious engineering chops to Foursquare and it’s a coup for the company to get him.
Hogue told us that he was eager to work on improving Foursquare’s discovery and recommendations capabilities using all the data Foursquare is collecting from users.
The company just redesigned its PC site to make it much more useful and a true companion to the mobile app. Last week Foursquare also launched a couple of new tools for third party publishers and developers, including a “save to Foursquare” button that connects online content to the physical world.
If you’ve saved a restaurant review to your Foursquare account, for example, and later you’re near the restaurant in the real world (and have Radar enabled) you’ll get a notification that the place is in your To-Do List. That “online to offline” functionality is pretty compelling and unique among social networks.
The graphic below illustrates Foursquare’s rapid, “hockey stick”-like growth in just under two years, from roughly half a million users in February 2010 to 15 million today. Foursquare was launched in March of 2009. The company has raised just over $70 million to date from investors.