Foursquare Sneak Previews New “Personalized Local Search” & Moves All Check-Ins To Swarm

Foursquare If you've been one of the few fearless folks holding out from updating their Foursquare app, your days are numbered. In a blog post and an email sent out to early adopters , Foursquare alerted its constituency that as of tomorrow all check-ins will be required to occur on Swarm, the new hub for check-ins. Furthermore, Foursquare has released a new logo and previewed a dramatic new look. With the delineation between check-ins and local search comes the new logo that's half pin/half F (or superhero emblem if you listen to Foursquare). Not the big news for Foursquare is that without check- [...]

Foursquare To Charge For Local Database — Will Partners Balk?

foursquare-featured According to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Foursquare will soon be charging a small number of partners to use its Venue Database. Recently Microsoft and Foursquare agreed to a $15 million investment/licensing deal that brings Foursquare content to Bing search results and Windows Mobile. According to the WSJ article: The New York startup is negotiating with the heaviest users of its data to pay fees or offer services in return, Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Glueck said. Deals will be reached on an ad-hoc basis with each developer and will affect under 1% of the 63,000 compan [...]

Foursquare To Move Check-ins Into “Swarm” App, To Focus Better On Local Discovery

fsq-swarm-app-600 Foursquare is doing something surprising, even radical. It's removing some of the legacy features (i.e., check-ins) from its app and moving them over to a new app called Swarm (available soon). Check-ins, sharing and friend finding will now reside in Swarm, and Foursquare will evolve in a bid for further mainstream adoption to challenge Yelp and Google in local. The company has been doing a lot of sophisticated work around personalization and local discovery, and is increasingly using a range of signals that are alternatives to check-ins. In other words the check-in has become expendable [...]

Microsoft’s $15 Million Check-in: Will Redmond Buy Foursquare?

microsoft-foursquare-featured Microsoft has invested $15 million in Foursquare and said it will license the former's location data according to news released yesterday. Foursquare aspires to be "the location layer for the internet." With real-time feedback about local data accuracy, based on user movements and check-ins, Foursquare is becoming a stronger and stronger source of local information. However I wouldn't necessarily agree with the notion that Foursquare's data are the most accurate in the market. Google and Yelp may still have better data -- although I suspect Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley would dispute that. [...]

4 Go-Tos To Make Online Reviews Work For Your Business

Yelp profile By now, everyone knows that online reviews can have a tremendous impact on consumers' purchasing decisions. Ultimately, a single review -- positive or negative -- can tip the scale in favor of one company over another. No doubt, the power of reviews on Google+, Yelp, Angie's List and other local search directories continues to mount. Review prominence in search results is also rising, as they often appear for a business just below their company website and make up the majority of the corresponding top 10 search results. Major search and review sites weight online reviews very highly, and [...]

Foursquare Gives iPhone Users Real-Time Recommendations & Rolls Out 2 New Search Features

foursquare-featured Foursquare announced three new upgrades today. The location sharing app has extended its 'Real-Time Recommendations' to iPhone users, and added two new search features: a 'Nearby' button and the 'Friends at a Glance' feature that displays most recent check-ins by friends. According to the announcement, the app's look and feel has also been updated with, "A simple feed that shows you what's most relevant nearby, right now." While the 'Real-time Recommendations' has been available to Android users since August, Foursquare says the feature that makes automatic recommendations is now availab [...]

Foursquare Adds Menu Items To Search Capability

foursquare-icon Foursquare has added the ability to search for particular menu items. The underlying menu data come from partners Locu and SinglePlatform, now owned by GoDaddy and Constant Contact respectively. The company says that there are more than 500,000 places and 43 million menu items that can be searched in this way. And while specific menu item search is probably relatively rare, it's a nice feature. YP introduced menu search late last month. Yelp has restaurant menus that can be browsed but doesn't yet offer menu-item search. I suspect it will soon. Earlier this year Foursquare made it po [...]

Foursquare Aims To Improve Venue Database By Expanding Superuser Program

foursquare-icon Foursquare's superuser program, now 40,000 people strong, is getting an overhaul. The company says it'll soon launch an automated test that will make it easier for users to become superusers -- they're the ones with special privileges to edit business listings and venues in Foursquare's database of 55 million places. (Non-superusers can only suggest changes to businesses and venues in Foursquare's database.) The test, which may be ready as soon as next week, will give users a list of suggested edits and then measure their responses for accuracy. Those who pass the test can immediately g [...]

Foursquare Now: Update Intros Location-Aware Alerts

foursquare-map-featured Call it "Foursquare Now." Today, the company announced that it would begin rolling out a new push recommendations feature, initially to Android users and later to iOS. Based on the billions of check-ins, likes and other social data Foursquare has accumulated, the updated app will proactively send alerts about places and venues, without any required action on the part of users: [W]hen you sit down to dinner, we might ping you with the can’t-miss dish on the menu (like the screenshot from a sushi bar below). Or when you arrive in a new neighborhood or city, we’ll suggest a few places tha [...]

Foursquare Updates Android & iOS App With New “Super-Specific” Search Filters

foursquare-logo Foursquare has added new search filters that allow Android and iOS users to make "super-specific" searches, filtering by price, locations where users have or haven't checked in before, locations 'friends have checked in', if a location is 'open now', and if a location is 'offering specials'. To demonstrate how specific users can be when searching for local destinations, Foursquare offered the following five search examples on their blog this week: "A cheap sushi place that’s nearby and open now, but that I haven’t been to yet." "A bar downtown that’s new to me, but that my frie [...]

Search Takes On Even Greater Role In Foursquare 6.0

foursquare-map-featured This morning, Foursquare is rolling out version 6.0 of its app. It puts a new search box "front and center" at the top of the screen to emphasize the local search capabilities of the app. It also adds or enhances other features to make it easier to find places and things to do. The company is using all its social and check-in data to generate greater utility, as well as create a discovery or recommendations edge over Yelp and Facebook's relatively new Nearby/Local Search. Below is the previous version of the app, which featured tabs at the bottom. Search was available under Explore and v [...]

Foursquare Improves Android App, Makes Search More Prominent

Foursquare logo 2 Foursquare has introduced a new version of its Android app. As the company says in its blog post there are three primary changes: More prominent "Explore" search box at the top of the screen A map at the top of the screen displays your network's most recent check-ins (which opens a  larger map). A left panel ("left-hand drawer") provides access to your profile/history, to-do list and other lists ("all lists") In addition, the check-in button has been moved to the lower left of the screen. In its blog post, Foursquare promises more changes and improvements to come: "[W]e we have [...]

Foursquare Responds To Facebook Nearby By Tapping Facebook’s Friend Graph

foursquare-icon Foursquare has made a quick response to Monday's announcement of Facebook Nearby, with its own announcement today that Foursquare Explore is cranking up its personalization. The irony? It's going to use Foursquare activity from a user's Facebook friends to improve the recommendations in Explore. Think of it as Foursquare judo: It's using Facebook data to battle against Facebook itself. Touché! Here's Foursquare's explanation of how it's using Facebook to turn up the personalization dial: When your Facebook friends do public things on Foursquare, like write a tip, like a place, or ta [...]

Facebook Gets Into Local Search With “Facebook Nearby” For iOS & Android

facebook-local-featured As of today, you can count Facebook as a potentially significant new competitor in local search -- on mobile devices. The company is updating the "Nearby" feature in its iOS and Android apps Nearby Becomes Local Search Tool Previously Nearby was about finding where your friends had checked-in. After the app update Nearby will still show you where your friends have checked-in. But now, more importantly, it will also show you nearby businesses and other places ranked by various criteria. It becomes a local search and discovery tool. You'll be able to search or browse in the new UI to find l [...]

What Is Foursquare’s SEO Strategy?

Two weeks ago, Foursquare launched a new version of its homepage which Greg Sterling touted as "taking on Yelp" by adding a search box. Naturally, my first reaction was to figure out what Foursquare's new SEO plan. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there was none... First a bit of data. According to SEMRush, Foursquare's organic traffic has been growing aggressively since July of 2011: This traffic growth appears to have been the result of the launch of Foursquare's "Self Serve" pages for Business. Clearly, the growth of mobile and Foursquare's profile, created a lot of incentive for b [...]

Foursquare Takes On Yelp With New Homepage Search Box

foursquare-map-featured Perhaps it was always inevitable that Foursquare would shift its emphasis from location-based social networking to local search. Indeed, the site has been moving in this direction for quite some time, and very self-consciously for the better part of the past year. This afternoon the company is rolling out a new PC homepage for users who aren't logged in: it prominently features a search box. In doing so Foursquare takes aim at Yelp as its chief rival in the local space. And in some ways the move completes Foursquare's evolution from a more narrow and novelty oriented friend finder, game and [...]

Everybody With A Maps App Is Piling On Apple

apple-maps-square It's a marketing tactic that's about as old as time itself: When a competitor stumbles, you turn it into opportunity for self-promotion. That's certainly been the case since the Apple Maps app stumbled out of the gate a week ago on iOS 6. Bing is the latest competitor to call for attention. The company published a new blog post today touting its Bing App for iOS -- not because it has any new features, but because "you may be holding a brand new smartphone and wondering which apps have the essential search and mapping functionality you need." Bing wants everyone to know that its existi [...]

Foursquare Tips Now Integrated Into Bing’s Social Sidebar

bing-b-logo In May Bing rolled out its new social sidebar that tied together social data from both Facebook and Twitter. Today another source has been added to the mix. Bing announced that Foursquare tips will be tied into specific location based queries. The Foursquare data will appear in the 'People Who Know' section of the sidebar, directly within the results pages: The Foursquare data pulled will be from the 'tips" area of each location, no information was given about check-in data. Of course the tips shown will be customized to the users location and the topic they are searching for. Th [...]

Foursquare Rolls Out App Redo: New Likes, Better Recommendations, Visually Simpler

foursquare-featured This evening Foursquare is launching a redesigned version of its iPhone app (with Android and Blackberry to follow). It represents both a simplification and expansion of the app, based on what the company has learned over the past three years. The app is also cleaner and visually stronger. It features three nav buttons on the bottom: Friends, Explore and You/Me. A Broader Friend Feed The new app will display a wider range of activity from friends -- not just checkins. Among other things you'll now see are photos, Tips and new "Likes" in the friend feed. The addition of Likes (hear [...]

Foursquare Adds Another Search Feature: Check-In History

foursquare-icon Still not convinced that Foursquare wants to be more than a check-in game with points and badges? Today the company launched the latest of several search features that continue to position Foursquare firmly as a formal local search engine: a fully searchable history page where users can review their entire check-in history, including photos, tips and who else was there. The history page offers a date-based dropdown, plus filters to narrow results by location, who else was there and business category. It's fair to question when or why anyone would want to return to an old check-i [...]

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