Foursquare relaunches as a personalized recommendation engine
This is Foursquare’s new twist on their old app. Check-ins? Meet-ups with friends? You’ll need to switch over to their sister app Swarm for that. (Great name for an Irwin Allen disaster movie, bad name for an app centered on food and friends.)
Foursquare 8.0 is here and it’s now all about personalized recommendations because getting a one-size-fits-all list of restaurants is so 2006. (?!?)
The new app learns your likes and dislikes through a variety of actions. It takes into consideration the experts you follow, the choices you make and of course, the ratings you leave after you visit a location.
The most fascinating piece of the puzzle is the “Add Tastes” menu on the Personalize page. This is a collection of tags that you can click to add to your profile. The list includes basic choices such as cupcakes and fish tacos, but the sample also has a few more colorful options such as “boozy brunches” and “Big Buck Hunter”. That last one appears to be a reference to the arcade game, so if you have a real hankering to shoot things legally, you can use this button to find the game in your area. Interesting. . .
Foursquare does lean heavily on the restaurant trade but the app can also suggest a store, a tourist attraction, a theater and more. If it’s a place you’d like to go on a Saturday night, you’ll find it on Foursquare.
When you arrive at your destination, Foursquare will serve up tips on what to order or do to make the most of your visit. If you leave a tip you’ll earn “expertise.” Not sure what that is but I think it’s something we all want.
They might have to offer more than just a gold star though, if they want this thing to fly. The check-in concept was a game with a goal. Remember when you could become the mayor of a location just by checkin in more than anyone else. The old app was a competition. Can’t let your co-worker get the mayor badge for your favorite after work bar, no sirree. A few more visits and you’ll steal that badge right back.
The new app doesn’t have that sense of urgency. The game is gone. Now they have to depend on people to share tips out of the goodness of their heart. And maybe a little bit for the glory of seeing your name on an expert list. Sounds like a tough climb.
For the Business Owner
Foursquare says the new app will be an even better marketing tool for local business owners because now you can highlight whatever it is that makes your business special.
Now, you can write a tip that tells everyone what you’re known for or what you do best. It only takes a few seconds, and it’ll show up in a dedicated section on your listing. Specials will show up there, too (and are a great way to reward your customers).
Sounds like Foursquare is moving in the right direction but they did such a great job branding themselves as a check-in app, it’s going to be hard to get people to see it as anything else.