Foursquare overhauls app to focus on personalized recommendations
Foursquare released a redesigned version of its mobile social networking app, de-emphasizing its signature virtual check-ins to focus on personalized recommendations and user interactions.
Foursquare version 5.0 streamlines the bottom navigation bar from five tabs to three: Friends, Explore and Me, with the Check-In tab replaced by a Check-In button present in the upper right-hand corner present across all screens. The Friends tab enables users to identify their contacts' whereabouts, "like" their check-in status or mention them in a post. The Explore button highlights nearby points of interest based on the user's check-in history and friends' foursquare activity, complete with consumer reviews and merchant offers, and the Me tab collects the user's foursquare tips, check-in badges and to-do lists, also aggregating their personal contacts and photos.
The New York Times reports foursquare has collected more than 2 billion data points since 2009, and it will leverage that information to improve its recommendations. For example, foursquare will suggest specific activities based on the day and time (e.g., happy hour spots on a Friday afternoon or brunch destinations on Sunday mornings), also taking into account current weather conditions to recommend ice cream shops on hot days. The goal is to "enhance your experience of the real world," co-founder and CEO Dennis Crowley said.
Foursquare now tops 20 million users worldwide, with check-ins at local venues eclipsing the 2 billion mark. Its network nevertheless pales in comparison to the likes of Facebook (901 million users worldwide, including 488 million active mobile users) or Instagram (50 million). The firm has raised about $71 million in venture financing; a $50 million round completed in June 2011 valued foursquare at $600 million.
- read this New York Times article
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