After weeks of anticipation, today marks the biggest change in local sharing app history. Meet the new and improved Foursquare, an app that has nothing to do with location sharing. Instead, expect this bold new app to challenge your favorite review sites. Yes, we’re looking at you, Yelp.
We’ve recently posted about big changes happening at Foursquare. Earlier this summer, Foursquare announced that the company was splitting into two. On one side, there would be Foursquare, a brand new interface where users can discover new places based on personalized recommendations made by others. On the other side would be Swarm, an app that allows users to share their physical location to meet up with friends in nearby areas.
The New Look
The former Foursquare, with its badges and mayors is all but a distant memory. The new Foursquare looks completely different and has a hip, bright feel to it. The blue and pink color scheme makes it more fun, approachable and bold. You’ll notice that there isn’t a check in option on the app anymore. Unless you’ve downloaded Swarm, you won’t see a check-in button at all on the app.
When the app is downloaded, it will ask users to choose various personal tastes they prefer such as “Boozy brunches,” “scenic views,” “art galleries.” Once complete, users are taken to a main app page.
The app will then determine the user’s physical location and provides them with a sliding bar of nearby options (breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, lifestyle, shopping, etc.) based personal preferences. When scrolling through these recommendations, users will notice Foursquare looks more like a restaurant blog with featured sections.
When an establishment is clicked, users are given basic information such as phone number, address, hours of operation, and photos. There will conveniently be a set of tips (like what you would see on Yelp). The tips are short, sweet, and to the point. What’s more, tips from your friends or people you follow will surface near the top of the list.
If you’d like to make your own search, you can do that, too. Results come up on a list by default, but you can also toggle a map in the right corner to see establishments closest to your location. The “What’s Here” button will list the top places near your location based on your preferences and recommendations from others.
Is Yelp a Goner?
We wouldn’t say Yelp is completely out, yet. After all, Yelp is still ingrained in everyone’s mind as a place to seek insight on their next outing. And with Foursquare, you’re not getting any outstanding results you wouldn’t get from Yelp. Yet, it looks much better and more user-friendly. While we won’t say that Yelp reviews aren’t useful, this might just be the alternative users are looking for. Especially in light of Yelp’s history of inconsistencies and legal disputes within the last few years. Foursquare might be the solution for finding a fresh take for places you haven’t discovered yet in your local area.
The best part of this app might be the fact that Foursquare encourages you to follow people you know and trust online or in real life. This includes partners like the Washington Post, LA Times, your friends, coworkers and so on. Based on what you’ve chosen as your personal tastes and who you choose to follow, Foursquare is able to provide you with your own personal recommendations. That’s pretty powerful stuff that could possible crack the code for what users are look for in terms of local search.
Of course, Foursquare will have to educate users on their new offerings, but loyal Foursquare users will be pleased with the new experience. With is tremendous change, Foursquare is turning itself around to be better equipped for the local search world. And we couldn’t be more excited.
The new Foursquare app is now available to everyone today in the App store and Google Play.