Foursquare Takes on Google+ Local with a New Mobile App

By Devon Glenn 

Foursquare is slowly, but surely checking out of the check-in business. On June 7 the company launched a new version of its app that lets you explore your neighborhood, see who’s nearby, and get recommendations.

Foursquare finds you and your friends on the map. As soon as you log in, you’ll see people nearby, deals, and other recommendations for things to do based on where you are. The recommendations change when you go on vacation or switch neighborhoods throughout the day.

Foursquare’s app launches on the heels of Google’s decision to scrap Places in favor of Google+ Local, which adds Zagat ratings as well as friend reviews to its mapping and search features. Like Google, Foursquare has a search bar where you can use keywords to find what you’re looking for, see a menu, or call a restaurant to make a reservation.

Foursquare’s recommendation engine matches members both with their friends and with people who have similar tastes. It’s a handy feature that’s several years in the making, including an early attempt from ReachLocal that was unfortunately shut down in 2011. The idea is that your friends aren’t always into the same things that you are. Foursquare scans through 2,000,000,000 check-ins throughout the community to match people who have similar histories to yours to help you find something new.

On Foursquare you can make comments on what others have posted as well as read the reviews. The layout looks a little like Path, a Facebook competitor that has all the makings of a Foursquare competitor, but that currently isn’t doing any advertising.

The app is available for download on iPhone and Android. According to the Foursquare blog, a Blackberry version will be available in a few weeks.