Popular location-based social network Foursquare has added a fresh coat of paint to the platform. The company has been hinting at a redesign for while now and it comes as no surprise that version five is finally here.
The new version is set to change the app experience drastically and allow users to interact more with people they know and people they don’t know. “After today, no one will be able to call Foursquare just a “check-in app” any longer — in fact they’ll have a hard time even finding the word ‘check-in’ within the app,” writes commentator Chris Thompson.
The platform has moved from a “check-in game” to a fully fledged recommendations service. This is to help users find more things to do in their cities, rather just arriving and checking in at a location. The new, much simpler tab bar has just three tabs: Friends, Explore and Me.
The brand new Foursquare is all about discovery and exploring your city. The explore tab gives users immediate suggestions “for what to do right now — no searching required — based on Foursquare’s newly enhanced Explore results,” says Thompson. Explore uses conversations in the users area when creating its recommendations.
The friends tab now has a more visual and social feel — clearly Foursquare wants users to spend more time reading the app. “Content is king here, with comments and likes (yes, you can finally like check-ins) brought right in line with the check-in. Photos also feature prominently in the new design,” says Thompson.
User profiles also have more visual appeal. Each profile page features the user’s photo, location, short bio, and contact information as well social media profiles front-and-center.
My favourite addition to the platform is the like button, a social trend that was overdue for a platform of this nature. Users who don’t feel the need to comment are now able to ‘like’ their friends’ check-ins.
The platform now also aggregates your daily check-ins so users can track where they have been. Finally, you can track where you spent your money on a big party night.
Foursquare has been very busy since its launch in 2009. The company has raised more than $71-million in venture capital and its most recent stock sale valued the company at more than US$600-million.
“Despite being rebuilt from the ground up, the new app isn’t so much revolutionary as much as it is evolutionary, building on a lot of the things Foursquare has been doing in the mobile app and web for the last several months. With the exception of moving the check-in button, everything should feel pretty familiar to longtime users, but they’ll get all sorts of new functionality on top of everything they had before,” says Thompson.