How to Be The Mayor


I get asked a lot of questions about Foursquare – in particular about Mayorships.

Many people are frustrated that they’ve been loyal users of both Foursquare and real-world establishments, yet haven’t been able to achieve a Mayorship at their favourite venues. In some cases, they’re the only people checking into the venues, so it’s difficult to explain why they haven’t received their virtual crown.

AboutFoursquare has published a very handy blog about Mayorships that explains a lot. In a nutshell, it needs to be a “qualifying checkin”, your Foursquare profile must have a photograph and it can’t be your first checkin to that venue.

Foursquare Mayoral Crown
Foursquare Mayoral Crown

You also need to bear in mind that only one checkin a day counts towards Mayorships. It’s the amount of days you’ve checked in that matters, not the total amount of checkins.

Also, an off-the-grid checkin doesn’t get you a instant Mayorship badge, despite your history at a venue. According to Foursquare “off- the-grid checkins will not unlock a Mayorship, they will count towards the Mayor tally”.

However, from anecdotal feedback I’ve received, there are some disgruntled Foursquare users who have checked into sites daily, never to attain Mayorship, and only to see a new user come along and rudely claim the title.

Foursquare forums have posited a number  of reasons for this: the venue may have been combined with a duplicate venue and the new Mayor brought along a lot of historical checkins with them; or the new Mayor may have recently added their profile photo after many checkins.

Others have said they fixed account information (like correcting their email address) and then became the Mayor. And on one forum, a person with long term Mayorship problems found they hadn’t ticked the “participate in Foursquare Mayorship” box under settings in their privacy profile!

The Foursquare forum on Get Satisfaction was most useful for this blog and is worth a visit.

If you’d like to check how long it might take for you to become a Foursquare Mayor of a venue, there are a few websites that can help, including When Will I Be Mayor and Be The Mayor.  Of course, those sites may not tell you if your account settings aren’t set correctly to receive mayorships.

Have you had problems achieving mayorship? Or have you heard of other solutions?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Twillyon says:

    A couple of months ago, it was possible for the manager of a venue (once claimed) to revoke the mayorship from their current mayor. I took advantage of this when The Highway had a mayor who would check in at around 8am each day when the venue was closed. The mayorship was then given to the user with the 2nd highest check in count. The ex-mayor continues to check in (probably using an auto-checkin app) but will never get his mayorship back.

    Unfortunately, this feature has been removed but could be a reason why a mayorship was lost, never to be granted again.

  2. Melissa says:

    That’s interesting. I think if you’ve done the checkins even without a picture you should get the title.

    Not sure what you can do about combining two venue entries but there would ideally be some way to make people’s points a bit more transparent so people running the mayorship race know what the state of play is.

    Otherwise it’s just frustrating as you’ve noticed, like playing a basketball game and thinking you’re doing well and then the other team subs in the Harlem Globe Trotters.

    Interesting post! I’ve often wondered.

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