Location-based service Foursquare has released a brand new version of its apps for iOS and Android to make browsing locations around you an easier and richer experience. The Foursquare app has been redesigned from the ground up, by adding features like giving suggestions on things to do nearby based on habits of the customers and their friends. Foursquare is best known to let your friends know where you are (e.g. coffee shops, bar, restaurant etc) and find out where they are.
“The new app is all about discovery. Rather than share your location, we want the app to suggest one,” the company wrote in its blog. The mobile app overhaul, which is also the vision of Dennis Crowley, the chief executive and one of the founders, puts the company in direct competition to the current recommendations leader, Yelp.
But what has changed? Well…a lot. The new app has become vibrant, clean and intuitive, as the new redesign now has only three buttons across the bottom for Friends, Explore, and your profile. The Friends tab features a photo-centric news feed, swipeable photos, lists and the places that your friends have saved. The ability to comment on their activity has also been added.
But the real meat of the new 5.0 version lies in its Explore tab that will give you ideas about where to go. It will give you results regarding what hotdog places you might like (for lunch), or what nighclubs to check into. And every recommendation comes with a list of your friends who have checked-in there as well as tips from them and others. The Explore tab also features a “Top Picks” button that allows you to search for popular venues in categories like “food,” “nightlife,” or “Sights.” To deliver such results Foursquare relies heavily on you and your friends’ past check-in data.
Finally you have the “Me” tab. This tab shows all your basic features like: friends, photos, stats, tips, badges, mayorships, and lists. Interestingly, now you can check your entire check-in history through the app, which was previously only available on the web.
In the new layout, the Check In button has been moved to the top-right corner of the screen, to make it more accessible.
For users, the changes would mean that they can get insights about particular venues, like if your favourite restaurant is busy or not, and read other’s comments to try out a new venue.
The company says the overhaul adds a whole new dimension to exploration and relevant recommendation because it knows what places, neighborhoods, and cities you have been to. “The new refined Explore engine now enables users visiting other cities to view the hottest tourist spots in the Explore area.”
As per a recent survey, one in four Americans use services like Foursquare, and nearly 58 per cent of smartphone owners use a geosocial or a location-based information service of some kind. Launched in 2009, Foursquare has grown to 20 million users and is pretty much on track to attract more and more businesses to its platform.