Foursquare “Reinvents Local Search” with New HomepageBy: Josh Wolford - October 15, 2012
Earlier, we told you that Foursquare was planning a new homepage that would put the focus on search and open up their personalized recommendations to everyone – even if they aren’t a member of the Foursquare community.
And now, the new Foursquare.com is live for everyone. According to the company, it will “reinvent local search” by allowing anyone to utilize Foursquare’s billions of check-ins and millions of tips – without having to sign up.
“[W]e’ve been tweaking and improving the formula that supplies those recommendations, analyzing and re-analyzing our nearly 3 billion check-ins and 30 million tips to find the keys to the best recommendations. In fact, we even started running an experiment: without any check-ins, can we still provide the best local recommendations? Thanks to those 3 billion check-ins and 30 million tips (and a bit more magic behind the scenes), we’ve gotten really really good at it,” says Foursquare in a blog post.
Even for a logged-out user, a search on Foursquare will yield plenty of results complete with tips, composite ratings, photos, and a map.
“Foursquare doesn’t just hand you a one-size-fits-all list of suggestions. Even if you’ve never checked in, Explore still can make great recommendations based on a number of signals, like what’s popular in the neighborhood, new places, places that are trending at the moment, where experts go, and what’s popular on that day of the week. If you search for a bar, we don’t just tell you about great bars, but rather the best places you should go tonight,” they say.
With this move, Foursquare is obviously going after other directories with tips, ratings, hours, and menus – think Yelp or Urbanspoon. The great thing about Foursquare is they can not only give you recommendations based on where you are, but they have an insane amount of data that they can use to give you the best choices based on what everyone else likes and recommends. Of course, creating an account, checking-in, making friends, and leaving tips will greatly improve the accuracy of Foursquare’s personalized results.
But for the casual user who’s just looking for a great sushi place in a town they’re unfamiliar with, Foursquare wants to be the go to search engine. And this new interface puts them firmly in the conversation.