Foursquare has long been working to move beyond location check-ins and into the realm of local discovery, helping its users find new places to check out, based on ratings, comments, and tips from its users. But it’s not the only one: Facebook today announced its local business discovery engine nearby as part of its latest app update. Well with Facebook now invading its turf, Foursquare just launched a new update to its iPhone app which has added even more discovery features.
The latest Foursquare iPhone update provides more information around local businesses — such as location, hours, and ratings — front and center, as well as offers swipeable photos. All of that is designed to give users a good idea about whether or not they’d like to go to a place.
But that’s just the start. Once a user has checked in, Foursquare will provide more details about a specific place, including who else is there, as well as tips from friends and other users. Users will also get notices about their own usage — such as the number of weeks in a row they’ve been to a place, or how far they’ve leveled up in a certain category — with every check-in.
The new features are designed to further the company’s positioning as a discovery engine for local businesses, leveraging info they’ve gained over the last several years to help power that decision-making. While it’s likely just a happy coincidence that the latest Foursquare update comes on the same day that Facebook rolled out its nearby feature, the fact that they were released on the same day shows how more companies are looking to provide relevant information to users in search of new places nearby.