More than 7.5 million people are using social-location app Foursquare to check in to real-world places to earn badges and mayorships, but now the app has been updated to version 3.0 on iPhone and Android. The major new feature is recommendations.
"For years we've wanted to build a recommendation engine for the real world by turning all the check-ins and tips we've seen from you, your friends, and the larger Foursquare community into personalised recommendations," explains CEO Dennis Crowley in a blog post. And that's just what Foursquare has done.
There's a new Explore tab in the app that asks where you want to go -- examples being food, coffee, nightlife and shops -- before recommending a few places you might like. The recommendations are based partly on where you and your friends have been before, as well as what other Foursquare users are doing, and even what time it is on which day of the week.
"You'll be surprised by what you get when searching for really specific things, like '80s music', 'fireplaces', 'pancakes', 'bratwurst', and 'romantic'," explains Crowley. "The more random you get, the more interesting the results get..."
Also good is the way Foursquare 3.0 may get you more freebies and discounts while out and about. The app will have new 'specials' for shops, cafes and other venues that sign up to reward Foursquare users.
You won't have to be the mayor of a place to qualify for a special now -- they can be offered to regulars, groups of friends, first-time visitors, swarms or simply anyone who checks in. You'll also be able to check out nearby specials on the app's Places screen, and chase the freebies.
As we said, all this is for the iPhone and Android versions of the Foursquare app, which was updated to version 3.0 last night. What about BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Phone 7 users though? You'll have to sit tight for now. "We're working hard to make sure that Foursquare 3.0 is available on all platforms, and will have updates as soon as we can," explains Crowley.
We have to admit to losing interest in Foursquare in recent months, as our attention wandered towards Facebook Places for check-ins instead. Foursquare 3.0 has made us want to dip back into that app though, if only to see if we can bag a free coffee or two here in the UK.