There goes the check-in. The new Foursquare is jettisoning the check-in utility to a spinoff app called Swarm. Instead, the new Foursquare 8.0 is a complete overhaul of the system. It’s not just a new coat of paint. This was a rebuild. Without check-ins, the app is left with one goal. Dethroning Yelp.
Without the check-in utility, the new app leaves you with perhaps the best city guide in your pocket. Hey, it even got a new logo in the rebuild. It’s not as terrible looking as AirBnB, so it has that going for it.
Logging into the new version is the same as before, but that’s where the similarities stop. Foursquare 8.0 immediately starts to build a profile around your tastes. Like pizza? What kind? Mac and Cheese? Yeah, they know a spot for that. It will even ask what type of establishments you like. Bars? Intimate settings? Cozy restaurants?
Once your profile is complete, it begins to collate user reviews from your friends and other users. If this is starting to sound like Yelp, it’s because that’s the goal. The company says the smart recommendations will get better as more reviews are added to the system. Foursquare claims the more you use the app, the better the experience.
With the new app on the busy side in regards to UI, the filters it offers up are a must. The new app comes with the standard filters such as cuisine, price and distance, but the app adds in some interesting filters. Want to make sure the spot has Wi-Fi? There’s a filter. How about places you haven’t been? Foursquare has you covered.
How does the app differentiate from Yelp? Personalization. Granted, with personalization comes a data deluge. If you aren’t already a power Foursquare user, you may be overwhelmed. The company went all in with the amount of data it presents.
For those users willing to put in the time to master the busy UI and the filter list, you are rewarded with a city guidebook that has no rivals. The issue Foursquare may run into is that hitting consumers with this much information may cause them to turn away.
If you are going to nitpick the refresh of Foursquare, it is the fact it can be too busy and it takes time to find and use all the filters. If you invest the time, the app is probably the best on the market for recommendations.
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