#foursquare

Foursquare:

But, as it turns out, each time you open the app, you almost always do just one of those things. At home, you may be searching for a place for dinner. After dinner, you are probably looking to see what friends nearby are up to. That’s why today, we’re announcing that we’re unbundling these two experiences into two separate apps – Foursquare, and a new app called Swarm.

This seems like the right call — maybe even more so than the “unbundling" of Facebook because these are two very different and distinct use cases. I still “check-in” places but it’s largely to keep a history of where I’ve been and to see the recommendations, it’s rarely for social purposes now. 

Speaking of recommendations:

In the near future, the Foursquare app is also going to go through a metamorphosis. Local search today is like the digital version of browsing through the Yellow Pages (remember those?). We believe local search should be personalized to your tastes and informed by the people you trust. The opinions of actual experts should matter, not just strangers. An app should be able answer questions like ‘give me a great date dinner spot’ and not just ‘tell me the nearest gas station.’ We’re right now putting the final touches on this new, discovery-focused version of Foursquare. It’ll be polished and ready for you later this summer.

This remains such a huge opportunity that no one has nailed just yet. In cities where they have good data, Foursquare is the closest, especially with the individual tips about places. I’m excited for and bullish on this new version.

Austin Carr:

What’s more, the tips on Foursquare are arguably easier for the startup to parse, enabling the company to call out popular venue features and embed them seamlessly in its search engine. They can range from highlighting the best bar cocktails to the best secret dance clubs to the fastest coffee shop Wi-Fi.

It’s interesting to me that I no longer check-in on Foursquare for the social dynamic, but instead just to see the tips left at the venue I’m at. Those tips, when plentiful, are a goldmine of information about a place. Some of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life are a result of those tips. 

Foursquare:

Instead of other sites where every place gets 3.5 stars, we come up with our scores using the same Foursquare magic that powers Explore. We look at signals like tips, likes, dislikes, popularity, loyalty, local expertise, and nearly 3 billion check-ins from over 25 million people worldwide. And, with every check-in and Explore search, our scores will get smarter and better.

A-fucking-men. 1 to 5 stars is and always has been pure shit. 1 star (bad) and 5 stars (great) makes sense. Maybe even 3 stars (okay). But what the hell are 2 and 4 stars? It’s different for everyone. And the majority of people doing the rating are usually only going to do so if they hate or love something. It’s such a better idea to use other, implicit signals.

dpstyles
dpstyles:

I was on CNBC this morning talking about the launch of foursquare’s first revenue-generating tools for local merchants.  You can watch the clip (5 mins) or read more on our blog.  
In just under 3 years we’ve gone from “That checkin thing will never work” to ”This is how foursquare plans on generating scaleable, repeatable revenue”.   This is a big deal and a huge congrats goes out to our team for an amazing launch. 
oh, ps:  we’re hiring :)

These Promoted Updates make a lot of sense to me because they aren’t ads shoved in your main social feed, they’re in the Explore area. That’s all about intent. You’re looking for something to do, and there are vendors that are willing to pay for placement to entice you do it with them. And they’re not just blind spray-and-pray-and-pay ads, they’re tailored to your other activity (past and social) on Foursquare.
Disclosure: CrunchFund is an investor in Foursquare precisely because we believe it will grow into a big business using ideas like the one above.

dpstyles:

I was on CNBC this morning talking about the launch of foursquare’s first revenue-generating tools for local merchants.  You can watch the clip (5 mins) or read more on our blog.  

In just under 3 years we’ve gone from “That checkin thing will never work” to ”This is how foursquare plans on generating scaleable, repeatable revenue”.   This is a big deal and a huge congrats goes out to our team for an amazing launch. 

oh, ps:  we’re hiring :)

These Promoted Updates make a lot of sense to me because they aren’t ads shoved in your main social feed, they’re in the Explore area. That’s all about intent. You’re looking for something to do, and there are vendors that are willing to pay for placement to entice you do it with them. And they’re not just blind spray-and-pray-and-pay ads, they’re tailored to your other activity (past and social) on Foursquare.

Disclosure: CrunchFund is an investor in Foursquare precisely because we believe it will grow into a big business using ideas like the one above.

bijan

bijan:

Earlier today, Foursquare announced and released the #allnew4sq. You can read all about the many and vast improvements on their blog post.

Short version: It’s awesome.

A day into using it, I agree that new Foursquare is a significant improvement in a lot of ways. There’s always been a lot more data than check-ins flowing through Foursquare, but much of it was hidden behind layers of UI. Now those layers have been peeled away. 

Over the past several months as I’ve been traveling quite a bit, I’ve come to fully appreciate the power of Foursquare Explore. It’s a recommendation engine for the real world that works. Yes, it works best in New York City which has the most data, but it’s great in other cities as well. It’s now front and center in the new app, as it should be.

The biggest complaint I’m seeing within my social graph is the removal of the local people view. I miss this too, but it’s important to remember that most users probably don’t have hundreds of friends, thus necessitating a separate area for this. With the new universal feed, Foursquare will seem a lot more lively to people who only have a half dozen friends on the service.

Foursquare (from CEO Dennis Crowley on down) is actively listening to all the feedback, and they’re clearly thinking about the local issue for power/legacy users. My suggestion would be a new filter in the Explore map area to show “Friends”. The map actually somewhat does this automatically (mixing friends’ avatars with selected types of places nearby), but only for friends very close by. I’d love to see where everyone is in San Francisco when I’m there, or New York when I’m there.

In the old version of Foursquare, I came to love the check-in map view for this reason (as opposed to the standard reverse-chron timeline of check-ins). Looking at a map gives you instant location context in a way that a list can’t. 

That’s my only critique/feature request. Everything else seems brilliant. 

Disclosure: CrunchFund is an investor in Foursquare specifically because I was hoping (but didn’t know for sure) this type of app was coming.

dpstyles
dpstyles:

jonathancrowley:

Team @foursquare toasting to the midnight launch of foursquare 5.0. Get your update on! (Taken with Instagram at foursquare HQ)
Download here!

This night has taken over as my favorite night in the history of our company.  Last time we all “gathered around the push the launch button” (3.0, March 2011), 20 people were in the office.  Tonight at our “button pressing moment”,  I brought a bottle of McCallan into the cafeteria (!) thinking we’d all do a shot from it… before I realized we had some 60 people gathered in the office at midnight so they could be there for the launch.  Tiny sips for everyone!
I can’t be any proud of everything this team has done.  And by “done” I don’t just mean, “hey, foursquare 5.0 wooo!”, I mean “growing this company from 2 dudes sitting around my kitchen table to 120 people across three offices, 20mm users, 2 billion checkins”.  People congratulate *me* all the time on this stuff… it’s not me, guys.  It’s everyone in his photo and the 50 other people surrounding them.  
They asked me to make a toast — the one thing I said that I hope hope hope sticks is that whatever it is that we have going on here right now is special.  Not because it’s “hey, foursquare 5.0 wooo!” but because we’re all in this together, busting our asses, giving up nights and weekends, drinking McCallan out of plastic cups and still having a good time.  
I know this doesn’t happen often.  In 10+ years of working in startups/mobile/NYC, I haven’t had *this* experience before.  And I can’t be any more psyched to be sharing it with this team.  

Well said. 
I recall very well using Foursquare pre-launch. Crazy how far it’s come. Can’t wait to use the new version.

dpstyles:

jonathancrowley:

Team @foursquare toasting to the midnight launch of foursquare 5.0. Get your update on! (Taken with Instagram at foursquare HQ)

Download here!

This night has taken over as my favorite night in the history of our company.  Last time we all “gathered around the push the launch button” (3.0, March 2011), 20 people were in the office.  Tonight at our “button pressing moment”,  I brought a bottle of McCallan into the cafeteria (!) thinking we’d all do a shot from it… before I realized we had some 60 people gathered in the office at midnight so they could be there for the launch.  Tiny sips for everyone!

I can’t be any proud of everything this team has done.  And by “done” I don’t just mean, “hey, foursquare 5.0 wooo!”, I mean “growing this company from 2 dudes sitting around my kitchen table to 120 people across three offices, 20mm users, 2 billion checkins”.  People congratulate *me* all the time on this stuff… it’s not me, guys.  It’s everyone in his photo and the 50 other people surrounding them.  

They asked me to make a toast — the one thing I said that I hope hope hope sticks is that whatever it is that we have going on here right now is special.  Not because it’s “hey, foursquare 5.0 wooo!” but because we’re all in this together, busting our asses, giving up nights and weekends, drinking McCallan out of plastic cups and still having a good time.  

I know this doesn’t happen often.  In 10+ years of working in startups/mobile/NYC, I haven’t had *this* experience before.  And I can’t be any more psyched to be sharing it with this team.  

Well said. 

I recall very well using Foursquare pre-launch. Crazy how far it’s come. Can’t wait to use the new version.

In my mind, Foursquare history remains one of the most interesting features of the service. It knows basically everywhere I’ve been since 2009 (actually, 2008 thanks to some imported Dodgeball data). To some, that’s creepy — to me, that’s awesome.

Recommendations are the obvious use case for past data. But as we’re seeing with services ranging from Facebook Timeline to Timehop, don’t underestimate the power of nostalgia.