This article was published on January 13, 2012

What just happened at Foursquare? Widespread reports of user accounts being deleted.

What just happened at Foursquare? Widespread reports of user accounts being deleted.

Update: Foursquare has fixed the issue and users can now log in again. Scroll down for updates.

Hundreds of Foursquare users have found this morning that if they try to log onto their accounts, they have been deleted.

If users try to log in, the are met with the error message: The email/phone you entered is incorrect. Please try again and even visiting a Foursquare profile without logging in brings up a 404 Not Found message that suggests the profile no longer exists:

Users have taken to Twitter to voice their frustration, some believing they have been hacked and others wondering why they are unable to access their accounts via their mobile devices or on the Foursquare website.

Foursquare hasn’t updated its Status website to note any issues, with the last post dating back to December 18.

There are also reports of other mobile services that utilise Foursquare’s APIs are unable to deliver location information. This includes the popular iOS sharing app Path.

The location service has suffered its fair share of issues over the past year, experiencing issues in June 2011 when user badges were randomly deleted and then restored, only to spam the Twitter feed with achievements as if they had been earned for the first time.

Foursquare users that had set their accounts to automatically tweet new check-ins and achievements only noticed their accounts were behaving erratically when their Twitter feed had been spammed and friends have blasted them for it.

More recently, the service the company pulled together data from its 1.5 billion check-ins, “tens of millions” of tips, and over half million lists and shared with its users how it had become more of a complete service.

It noted:

Finally, because Explore is powered by check-ins and foursquare Tips, it’s not just personalized, it’s specific. Search for ‘pool table,’ or ‘guacamole’; ‘deep dish,’ or ‘thin crust.’ Because not all bars, Mexican restaurants, or pizza joints are created equal, and we want to make sure you find what you’re craving.

As the company has made efforts to make it easier to not only check-in, but share tips and specific information about a location, that data is now being used in any number of ways.

We have reached out to Foursquare to get to the bottom of the issues, we will update the article should we receive a response.

Update: Foursquare is now aware of the issue and is “chugging away” attempting to get it back up and running:

3:45pm EST/8:45am GMT: We’re investigating now.

[UPDATE] 3:55pm EST/8:55am GMT: We’re still working to restore service.

[UPDATE] 4:05pm EST/9:05am GMT: We’re still chugging away, be back soon.

Update 2: The service is back up! You should now be able to access your accounts and view profiles.