I saw this on “The Next Web Apps” and thought it worthy of discussion. Do you think these recent changes to Foursquare make it more relevant?
Foursquare has just delivered on the promise of what it’s been doing with Explore for years now. It is making its Explore feature available directly on Foursquare.com, even to those who do not use the service.
Foursquare says that Explore is used over a million times every day. And its now making that feature available even for those who don’t check in or have ever even signed up for Foursquare. This, it says, is part of its efforts to ‘reinvent local search’.
“When we first launched Foursquare Explore, we knew we could make great, personalized recommendations for the 25,000,000 members of our community,” said the company in a blog post. “If a person had checked in at ten places, we could recommend ten more that we knew they’d be happy with.”
Founder Dennis Crowley has always been hot on the idea that Explore has significant advantages to those that don’t even check in or use the apps, and this latest move is in line with that position. Just last week at a Pando Monthly event, he said that Foursquare was “the best local search tool in the planet” and that they were just starting to use the service’s data efficiently. Moving Explore to its website opens up that data to everyone, leveraging the power of Foursqare checkins regardless of whether or not you use the service.
Crowley has said that a key moment in the app’s history was when it figured out that Foursqare was being used to “look for where their friends are, to find things, and as a recommendation service,” adding, “It’s almost like it doesn’t occur to them to check in.”