Thursday, October 18, 2012

Foursquare Shifts Focus to Localized Search & Recommendations

Have you visited the Foursquare website recently? As part of Foursquare’s effort to monetize their service, they have unveiled a new prominently featured search box on the homepage. You may notice its striking resemblance to the classic Google search box, which may very well not be a coincidence. A former Googler is on the team that has been working on improving the Foursquare algorithm and the overall search experience and as a result, they have unveiled this release.

This new search box functionality is for logged out users. Now Foursquare.com will provide lots more value to the logged out user than ever before. They have collected intelligence over the past 2 years, spanning from check-in data, lists, likes, dislikes, tips etc., which have all been factored into the search results. And for the app users, all of the standard rich features are still available – no changes to your experience whatsoever.

Does Yelp have some competition to be concerned about? As Foursquare moves further into the local search and recommendations realm, it sounds like they will be taking on Yelp head-on.

Do you see this direction working for Foursquare? Or, do you think they will always be seen as an augmented reality check-in service?

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