Foursquare Looks to Shift From Gaming Novelty to Essential Tool

Matures from location-based game to utility

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It’s not a coincidence that Foursquare’s fastest growing team works on its location-discovery/recommendation tool Explore. That feature anchors the new Foursquare that launched last Thursday, shoving the startup’s claim to fame, check-ins, aside. Becoming mayor of your local diner is so 2009.

While the six-months-in-the-making overhaul favors recommendations over check-ins, it’s not a pivot, said BIA/Kelsey senior analyst Michael Boland. Instead “it’s an acceleration of [Foursquare’s] existing direction,” he said.

Foursquare essentially wants to move the product away from being a game-like novelty for many early users toward becoming an essential utility embraced by millions.



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