Foursquare 3.0 has just come out with a whole new look, and some appealing new features that have me intrigued.
For those who don’t know,
Foursquare is a location-based application that you can access online or on your preferred mobile device (in my case, an iPhone). It was built and launched by two guys interested in sharing new locations with their friends, and in finding out where their friends were hanging out nearby without the exchange of dozens of text messages. I wrote an
earlier blog post about Foursquare,
so read that for more info about the basics of the application and its uses.
The “Explore” Tab
The most touted new feature (by the company) is Foursquare’s new Explore tab. Here, you can browse nearby places by recommendation, either from check-ins your friends have made, or from places that are popular with all Foursquare users. The app displays the address of the place, why it has been recommended, and a tip that someone has written about it (if any exist). I find it ironic (and hilarious) that my local supermarket and post office are both recommended as popular among Foursquare users, but the tips displayed for both places are disdainful, to put it mildly. (I’ve heard that the supermarket used to have rodent problems, though, so maybe they’re right). When browsing within the Explore tab, you can sort resulting recommendations by category ranging from art galleries to coffee shops to night life, and anything else you’d need.
Browsing by Specials
Another new feature is a greatly enhanced list of specials: discounts or perks offered by businesses if you “check in” on the premises. If you live in a neighborhood like mine, where the number and variety of great ethnic restaurants is staggering, you might appreciate this additional lens through which you can evaluate your options.
At a glance, I discover that I can get discounts locally on custom framing, drinks at a hookah lounge, tax preparation services, shoes and Barbie and Ken dolls. Though I’d only be likely to take advantage of one of these (I’ll leave it to you to conjecture as to which one that might be), it certainly is fun to know what’s out there. I doubt that this feature would encourage me to spend more money every time I’m out and about, but when I’m in the market for something in particular, the Foursquare Specials tab will be one place I’ll look.
Have you tried out the new Foursquare yet? Do you like it better than the previous version? Are you more likely to use it in daily life? I’d love to hear your reactions below.