When users search on Foursquare’s website, a location-based social network for smartphones, for what to see in Paris or where to eat good Thai food, instead of a broad list the search results can now be tailored specifically to their preferences. It can now be termed a local search engine.
Foursquare’s Explore feature is powered by 1.5 million check-ins, which let users tell their friends the places they visit. Each check-in helps Foursquare know what the user enjoys most. From check-in data, Explore can be personalized and filtered to places you haven’t been, been before, where your friends have been or Foursquare specials. These filters help the user have more search control. The more users check-in, the more the filters can be adapted to fit their interests and the greater the reward for the user.
It also has tens of millions of Tips and over half million lists. The “Tips” content is now searchable, so abstract and detailed data show up more readily. For example, if a user searched for “homemade tortillas” in Austin, a list of results displays Foursquare users that commented on different restaurants with homemade tortillas.
Time-based recommendations have also been added to show places most helpful upon signing in. Now, users don’t worry about taking recommendations for a place that is closed Tuesdays when they sign in on Tuesday.
This redesign creates more opportunities for online marketing as well. Since it allows Foursquare to be more of a discovery tool, users who enjoy Explore will spend more time looking for new places. This gives businesses who utilize Foursquare the opportunity to obtain new customers.