Foursquare is hoping to become your “go to” location-based recommendation service and to make that happen they have announced plans to split their service into two different apps. The existing Foursquare name will go with the app that will provide recommendations in response to user input like “what is a good place for dinner?” Foursquare hopes users will turn to the app when searching out restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other locations in a manner similar to what users do with a service like Yelp or even Google’s map search. Foursquare says the results will be built based on the user’s preferences and check-in history.
Meanwhile, the “check-in” functions of the current app, which let people share their location to friends and family, will be split off into a new app called Swarm. Android and iOS versions will be available in a few weeks with a Windows Phone version following. According to Foursquare, the two apps will work together as part of the company’s overall strategy.
Foursquare, the popular “check-in” app, is poised to introduce a new feature that CEO Dennis Crowley thinks represents the app of his team’s dreams. Crowley started talking up the push notification feature yesterday and apparently today the new capability will start rolling out to a small group of Android users. The new function runs in the background and when a user visits a location, the Foursquare app will periodically push a notification to the user with information about the place they are visiting. According to Crowley, the “tips” will come from other users or possibly the merchant, but they will not be paid messages.
Crowley thinks the new features is “huge” and represents the version of Foursquare “we’ve been talking about building for a long time.” He also thinks it is going to fuel growth for the app by generating new users and enticing former users back into the fold. Sources see this as more of a step to make Foursquare a more attractive target for a company like Apple or Yahoo! that may want to include this kind of user interaction in their own location-based apps.
The initial roll-out of the new function will be to only 2,000 Android users, but it should eventually be available for all Android device users by the end of 2013. iPhone users will have to wait a bit, probably until after iOS 7 is officially released.
If you are a Foursquare user, what do you think of this new feature? Is it something you would find useful?
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