Meet Poorsquare: It's Foursquare for the 99%
November 8th, 2011
01:33 PM ET

Meet Poorsquare: It's Foursquare for the 99%

By John D. Sutter, CNN

You've heard of Foursquare, the location app that lets people "check in" to their favorite bars, restaurants and coffee shops. Now meet Poorsquare, a website that uses Foursquare's data to come up with a list of nearby locations where you can get a free lunch - if you check in with Foursquare.

Jeff Novich and Andrew Pinzler created the Web app at a recent New York hackathon sponsored by American Express, according to this blog post from Business Insider. When you input your location and click a button - aptly named "I am the 99%. Show me some Freebies!" - you get a list of locations that are offering some sort of free or discounted reward, many of which require a check-in.

It will be interesting to see where this Web app goes. The blog The Next Web, where we first spotted this story, says it's "on its way to becoming a winner."

It would be nice, however, to see this data presented on smartphones and tagged to a user's current location. On the site, you have to tell Poorsquare where you are from a list of choices. Further, the app only works for New York at the moment, although the site says data for 100 U.S. cites are "coming soon."

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Filed under: Innovation • Tech
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Paula Neto

    prehaps they should think about the other way around, instead of having freebies, ppl should check in to help the ones that can't afford a meal, no?

    November 18, 2011 at 5:58 am | Reply
  2. gary

    As highlighted on CNN Heroes (, enables people to find a food pantry in their community... either to donate food to, or in case they are in need on assistance.

    More than 4,500 food pantries across all 50 states are registered.

    Visit to learn more (also available as free iPhone and Android apps)

    November 9, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  3. Craig

    Too poor to buy lunch, but not too poor to buy a smartphone or iPad and a monthly wireless service plan.
    That about sums up the problem right there.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • Steve


      November 9, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      I pay $30 a month for a plan that gives me 1000 min/month plus limited web access on a not-particularly-smart phone (my phone cost around $40, the article states that the service does not currently rely on smartphone tech). That's one dollar a day for a service which can be used to receive calls from employers or potential employers, communicate with a friend who can give you a ride or your spouse, children, etc., beyond the service mentioned here. Maybe not a necessity, but not necessarily frivolous either.

      November 10, 2011 at 12:37 am | Reply
      • Shawn

        I think the point Craig is making is that any good personal finance consultant – or anyone with financial common sense – would tell you that when you reach a catastrophic level in your budget, ANY discretionary items must go in favor of shelter, food, electricity, water, and heat. If you're at the point at which you need food hand-outs (the second item on the previous list), phone plans should have already been taken out of your budget. You can get access to your Gmail to communicate with potential employers from the public library.

        The point being that many people in America right now are in the situation that they're in because they consistently make poor money choices and fail to take ownership of there situation to make the necessary decisions. While your mobile phone plan seems modest, I'm going to assume you're not starving. If you are, you too need to re-evaluate your situation.

        November 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • dee

      It's not a matter of being "too poor" to pay full-price for a meal, but a matter of saving some money where you can. This is more for middle-class people trying to save a buck or two. Let's face it – the truly "poor" are most likely qualified for assistance such as food stamps and those free phones that come with 250 minutes/month.
      Shawn mentions that you can contact potential employers by accessing your Gmail from the library. While this is true, what do you do if said employer wants a phone interview? Is having a nice suit for an interview a frivolity as well?

      Also, what if you happen to have a job that provides you with a smartphone, yet you're still struggling to make ends meet with that take-home pay?

      Sorry, but I'm going to get me a discount whenever I can.

      November 15, 2011 at 7:30 am | Reply

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