The New and Improved Foursquare
By: Joe Prasad
Category: Social Media
June 25, 2012
Foursquare has always been a unique tool. I’ve been using it for my business and personally for the last year. However, its recent changes help to move it from the realm of novelty apps to a more social experience. The changes themselves are actually quite sweeping, and it does take a moment to get used to the new layout. Once you get used to it, though, you will find that Foursquare’s new features are far more robust and will give you a chance to really connect with others in your area, and discover the best of what’s available around you.
One of the real complaints about the Foursquare of old was its layout. It was a bit confusing, seemingly dropping information in random places without any thought on usability. The new layout, however, divides the entire app into three discrete zones. You can view your friends’ information on the “Friends” tab, find out about the area around you in “Explore” and take a moment to go through all your personal information in “Me”. This makes for a more fluid experience, one that advances the social aspects of the app. This small layout change creates a much more usable social experience for those who want to connect with others.
A More Social Application
The Friends section of Foursquare has undergone the most significant changes, and the revamp looks like the Facebook timeline and Instagram. You can still see where your friends have gone, of course, but the information is now coupled with large, Facebook-esque pictures. You even have the ability to “Like” your friends’ check-ins directly from your stream creating a more engaging experience. This adds a new layer of interactivity to the app, and it helps to create more of a community feel than was once available. I would liked to have seen a Tweet button added along the with the “Like” and “Comment” sections, this would have advanced the social aspects of the app even further.
Explore with Smart Recommendations
The Explore section takes what was always great about Foursquare and immediately makes it accessible. A quick button-press will bring you to a Google Maps view of the area around you, complete with the check-ins of your friends and various recommendations. This is a good way to not only learn where your friends have gone at a glance, but a great way to figure out the hot spots in your vicinity. You can always choose to look elsewhere, but the social benefits of the immediate local view cannot be overstated. If you can remain aware of all the great places in your local area, you have a much better chance of connecting with others nearby. Businesses can use this feature to advertise specials and the visibility of the offer and location is easier to see. This feature existed in the previous version, but now it’s highlighted so I expect greater response rates to exclusive Foursquare offers.
Foursquare’s new changes grabbed some of the best features from other platforms while still focusing on what it does best, creating a unique experience that allows you to enjoy the best places around you and hopefully catch up with a friend while doing it. If you want to be able to keep track of your friends, get great recommendations about the world around you and do a little socializing, you should try out the new features of Foursquare.