Check-in service Foursquare has given its website’s search and recommendation engine a major overhaul, opening its virtual doors to non-members for the first time.
Head over to the Foursquare homepage now and you’ll be greeted by a map of your local area, with a search box in the middle. Simply type in a term – this can be pretty much anything you’re looking for, from food to clothing to leisure activities – and you’ll be whisked to a map with recommendations posted as pins, plus user reviews overlaid on the left of the page. Clicking on a place name brings up its own page on Foursquare, with more reviews, tips, photos and ratings.
You can filter the search down by ticking boxes. For instance, you can remove all results except those with Foursquare special deals currently running, and if you do happen to be a Foursquare user you can filter out places you’ve been to already (or those you haven’t been to).
Basically, this development increases Foursquare’s appeal to non-users by making it a competitor to the likes of Yelp and Google. In an unfamiliar area and hungry for some falafel? Registered user or not, Foursquare gives you another way to find the right place, with all the data sourced from users. In fact, Foursquare says it has had nearly three billion check-ins so far, with millions of tips left by users.
It makes sense from a business point of view too: while check-ins, mayorships and the chance to earn badges are fun for a while, some users give up on Foursquare eventually because they don’t really see the overall point in it: now it has one.
Will you be trying out Foursquare’s new open-to-all local recommendation service? Drop us a line below to let us know.