I’ve been a fan of Foursquare for some time and with the recent changes it doesn’t look like things are going to change!
This week, Foursquare released version 3.0 with discovery, encouragement and loyalty features that see even more development from my favourite location based app.
‘Tips’ are out and ‘Explore’ is in for a new tab. The ‘Explore’ update has been described as ‘yelp and maps rolled into one‘ – and that’s about right. Foursquare are now incorporating ‘signals’ that will take into account the types of places you have checked in, where your friends have checked in, places with loads of tips, time of day and much, much more. This in theory should see more relevant content popping up when you’re out and about, showing you ‘what’s hot’ right now in the area and you will even have the ability to search for ‘sushi bars’ or ‘gastropubs’.
An added widget, whereby you can simply increase or decrease the area being included in your results makes it possible to see what is available by up to 10km, meaning companies can be discovered locally as well as further afield, just one of the benefits of the Foursquare v3.0 update for businesses.
Recently checking into a coffee shop, (a rarity for me as I don’t do hot drinks! I had an OJ!) I was rewarded with more points than I was expecting. Usually points are awarded for your first check in at a venue and points for the actual check in. However, I was rewarded with points for my first coffee shop check in and first check in at Costa coffee, plus my points for the actual check in. Cruising to the top of the leader board, all of which visible on one screen (previously you had to access the leader board separately) I was happy that I stopped for a drink!
This is really increasing the ‘gaming’ theme of the app, whereby you are encouraged to gain points for checking in to different types of venues as well as checking in with friends. The leaderboard is now in a central location, (previously was pretty much hidden and not of much use) with a sliding scale comparing your points to your friends, hopefully encouraging more competition between friends and bringing back much needed fun!
The amount of offers now available is increasing. I have found that many companies would benefit from using Foursqaure, (encouraging loyalty and getting an insight to statistics of check in’s could prove invaluable to business owners), but still in the UK there is little incorporation with businesses marketing goals. The Foursquare v3.0 update has not left out businesses in the loyalty stakes either, now with six types of specials to create:
- Swarms — check-in in big numbers and the whole group receives an offer/special
- Groups of Friends — check in with your Foursquare friends for rewards
- Regulars — Loyalty rewards for returning customers/visitors
- Mayors – Being the individual checking in the most to that venue gets a great offer/special
- Newbies — Rewards for your first check-in to a venue
- Everyone — Rewards valid on any check-in
The current Foursquare updates signal a move away from the regular Facebook Places comparisons. The intention that Foursquare v3.0 is to provide users with recommendations is what users of location based software have been waiting for, however, only time will tell if this will work or you will still get non-relevant specials or venues.
Noticed the changes? Do you like them? Would love to hear your thoughts on the changes or if you have any recommendations for Foursquare. As ever, drop me a comment.