I went to check into Foursquare at my favorite McDonald’s with my Dumbphone, and I got a message telling me that there would be no more mayorships for me…at least until I purchase a Smartphone.

Well, I’m a little disappointed, but the policy makes sense. Because web-enabled plain old phones do not provide GPS data, it’s easy enough to check in without actually being at the location. I could check into a Hilton in Chicago and a restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans on the same day. Foursquare does want to provide accurate feedback to businesses which use the platform.

Users of the mobile version of Foursquare will still be able to check in, find out where their friends are, and earn badges, just not mayorships.

Apparently, this change occurred in December, but the first time I saw the screen telling me about it upon check-in was today.

Now, I must turn in my gavel.  Just wait though, as soon as I get a smartphone, that McDonald’s mayorship is MINE again!

(Also see: You wouldn’t want to be mayor of any of these places)

From Foursquare’s help page:

“If you don’t have a phone that will run one of our apps (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, webOS, Winmo7, Symbian) but your phone can access the internet, you can still check in by pointing your mobile web browser to http://m.foursquare.com. Because most mobile web browsers do not support advanced features like GPS or photo uploads, we have created a simpler foursquare experience that is customized for the mobile web browser’s limitations. For example, you can’t upload photos (no saved photo access), and you can’t earn Mayorships (no GPS) on the mobile web, but it still lets you and your friends find each other as well as see the best tips at the venues around you. If you are able to download an app on your phone, it’s a more complete foursquare experience; if not, we hope you enjoy the set of features we were able to put into the mobile web version!”

These features are supported when using mobile web:
-Checking in
-Viewing friends’ check-ins
-Searching venues
-Adding friends
-Viewing the Leaderboard
-Viewing your badges