August 8, 2014
Foursquare has made dramatic changes in its smartphone app while rethinking its approach to local business recommendations. Since the company became popular in 2009 due to its check-in feature, Facebook and Instagram have taken much of that attention with their own check-in features. The revised app urges users to explore their surroundings while using Foursquare as their guide, with its database of 10,000 “tastes” to help users discover exactly what they want.
“We’ve just got so much data on where people want to go and what they want to do, and we haven’t really been able to flex that in our original app until now,” said Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley.
Due to the check-in updates to Facebook and Instagram, Foursquare’s companion app — Swarm — now allows users to broadcast activities and locations instead.
Some of the changes include full-screen photos of local spots, neatly sectioned categories, and a color change from light blue to pink accents.
The app also takes user data preferences to personalize the results to what would most interest the user.
“So if it’s 11 a.m. on a Sunday, for instance, Foursquare could draw on your past check-ins to point you to a restaurant that’s a mile away, has good eggs Benedict and is serving brunch for the next two hours,” reports The New York Times. “It could also show you short tips and recommendations that your friends who use the app have written about the place you’re visiting.”
“You start out growing things for users,” Crowley said. “Then as we start to build an audience, we start to build these tools that we think are amazing tools for brands and merchants.”
“Technology companies like Facebook and Twitter are also vying for advertising tied to location, putting pressure on Foursquare to prove that its makeover is enough to revive its earlier buzz,” notes Bloomberg.