Rules and Guidelines

Please note: we are no longer encouraging partners to submit data via our API. This is a deprecated service and should be replaced with the flat file submission.

Best Practices and Style Guides

Before submitting any data to Foursquare via the API, it is VERY important you prepare your data so it aligns with our Editing Guidelines and Style Guide. Within the style guide, we have a list of guidelines and policies that help us maintain a high-quality and consistent dataset. This minimizes the number of data conflicts and ensures your edits will update without any issues.


User generated content is at the heart of Foursquare's venue database and this includes photography of the venues people visit. Listing Syndicators are welcome to contribute photos to our site, but only if they are relevant and high-quality user generated content of the specific venue they are being uploaded to.

DO NOT upload logos or stock photography. It is against our terms of service and your Listing Syndicator guidelines and will result in your privileges removed or your account banned entirely.

Global Style Guide

Regional Style Guides

In addition to the Global Style Guide, each region may have nuances in the preferred styles that all editors must follow. Find your region's style guide below:

Nesting Venues

Our system supports venue hierarchy so you are able to nest and create subvenues under parent venues. An example of this would be a parent Walmart Supercenter venue. If you would like to create venues for the Grocery Pickup and Walmart Vision departments, please use the parentId parameter and set the value to the parent Walmart venue ID. A parent venue can have unlimited nested subvenues.

Nest venues to prevent "hijacking" a parent venue when you want to add subvenues. Use the search endpoint if you do not know the venue ID of the parent venue.

Testing our API

We currently do not have a test environment. Everything you send to our database goes directly to our production environment. Because of this, please do not send any test or fake venues to our system! If you would like to test the API, you can create ONE private venue from which you can test edits (either by adding the primaryCategoryId of Home (private) 4bf58dd8d48988d103941735 when creating the venue or flagging the venue as private).

Note: Your account will become disabled and banned if you send us test venues that are not properly labeled as private.

Account Banning

If your edits do not adhere to our guidelines, your user may be flagged and banned in our system and disabled from submitting edits. This usually results in a 403 User Not Authorized response when your user tries to push an edit.

Common reasons your account may be flagged:

  • Edits do not follow the region's style guide
  • Duplicate venues are being created in the system (either because the existing venue wasn't properly matched in our system or sub-venues are not being nested correctly under the parent venue)
  • Account is adding SEO venues (venues that don't have a physical, brick-and-mortar location users can walk into/up to)
  • Account is adding stock photos (we only want relevent and high-quality user generated content)
  • The wrong venues are being claimed (for instance, if your team is managing H&M but mistakenly claims M&M)
  • Randomly moving venue pins on the map
  • Renaming venues for no reason (including changing regional language names to English)
  • Removing venue data when your business loses a partner
  • Using multiple accounts to approve edits in your queue (instead, please wait for our quality team to approve them)
  • Creating fake test venues (if you need to test our API, please reach out to the Foursquare team so we can help you or create one private test venue)

If your user accounts violate any of the above terms, the account will be flagged until we are able to investigate the violation further with our quality team. After we determine the root cause for the flag, we will work with you on preventative measures to ensure you are sending us correct and desired edits moving forward.

If you have any further questions, please reach out to us at:

Next Steps

Now that you've read thoroughly through our Rules and Guidelines, you are ready to start sending your listings to us: Managing and Editing Venues