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Foursquare Grows Up and Beyond the Check-In: Tech News and Analysis « UPDATED: Originally, Foursquare was designed with the goal of “making cities easier to use.”

Foursquare Grows Up and Beyond the Check-In: Tech News and Analysis «

But along the way, it became synonymous with check-ins and the game mechanics behind it. That was a good thing when it was new, unique and fun. But the world has moved on, and so have location competitors, who are looking beyond simple games to expanded deals, bigger competition and recommendations of places. Foursquare is now taking a big leap ahead in its story with version 3.0 as it matures into a much more complete and polished location-based service capable of tackling its original vision. Founder and CEO Dennis Crowley said in a blog post that the service is now closing in on 7.5 million users after adding about 7 million since last year’s annual South By Southwest event. Interestingly, many of the updates put the focus back on check-ins, but infuse the action with much more meaning.

Discovery. Rewards. Loyalty. Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d): Foursquare Checks In Comments And Pictures; Instagram, PicPlz, Foodspotting On Board. Earlier this month, location-based service Gowalla went on the offensive against rival Foursquare — by linking up with them.

Foursquare Checks In Comments And Pictures; Instagram, PicPlz, Foodspotting On Board

Yes, they created a way for you to use Gowalla to check-in on Foursquare (and Facebook). Why would they do that? Because they said that users told them they felt the Gowalla experience was better, but many of their friends were already using Foursquare. Foursquare Experimenting With Recommendation Engine. Dennis Crowley, co-founder of location based social network Foursquare, told attendees of the Picnic conference in Amsterdam today that the company has built a feature that recommends new locations users ought to visit, based on their past activity, their to-do lists and what's popular at the moment.

Foursquare Experimenting With Recommendation Engine

The system is being tested internally by Foursquare staff and Crowley hopes that Foursquare user data will be used by outside developers to build even more kinds of recommendation services. Recommendations, generally, are like searches you hadn't thought yet to perform - in Foursquare they could be a great way to foster new experiences for users and additional activity for businesses.

Crowley's talk was first reported by watchdog blog About Foursquare, where a video of the 20 minute presentation from Picnic can be found. Introducing foursquare 2.0: Tips + To-Dos + Add to foursquare + More! UPDATE: Whoa guys!

Introducing foursquare 2.0: Tips + To-Dos + Add to foursquare + More!

Servers are melting from all the excitement. We’ll be rolling out the new 2.0 features over the coming days. All clear! Foursquare Launching New Must-Have Button for Websites. Marshall Kirkpatrick, Technology Journalist » I Don’t Care What You Say – I Think Foursquare is Awesome. I wrote about a really cool new feature on Foursquare today, called it “must-have,” and now am seeing a fair amount of cynical backlash.

Marshall Kirkpatrick, Technology Journalist » I Don’t Care What You Say – I Think Foursquare is Awesome

People get upset when you get excited about Foursquare – they think it’s overhyped, they want to see less coverage of it, less effusive coverage of it, more critical coverage, more discretion over what we tech bloggers get breathlessly excited about so that they the readers needn’t be bothered by anything but the rare, guaranteed win that they must pay attention to. Well that’s not how it works, folks.

We get excited, I get excited, about potential. About early startups that are opening our eyes to new possibilities for utility and value creation. I don’t know which ones will work out long-term and I don’t really care. Note that one commenter below makes a good counter-argument. Foursquare 2.0 Goes Beyond The Check-In — By Reshuffling Old Features. Today, Foursquare has announced the arrival of version 2.0 of their service.

Foursquare 2.0 Goes Beyond The Check-In — By Reshuffling Old Features

This version has been the subject of much speculation for several weeks, as everyone wants to know how Foursquare is going to keep their momentum alive. With Facebook Places now out in the wild, and slowly rolling out around the world, Foursquare is well aware they need to move beyond simply being a check-in service. So have they? As we suspected a couple months ago, there is a new emphasis on both Tips and To-Dos in the new version of Foursquare.

Specifically, in the iPhone app, these features now have their own separate buttons for the first time. Both of these features are somewhat interesting and could be useful, but unfortunately, neither are new. Foursquare’s New Site Design Starts To Roll Live As Gossip Girl. Since its launch almost exactly a year ago, Foursquare’s website has largely had the same basic design.

Foursquare’s New Site Design Starts To Roll Live As Gossip Girl

Tonight, it looks like that’s finally getting updated. While it looks like the update is still in the process of rolling out to all the pages, Foursquare.com now clearly has new system-wide toolbars, a brand new sign-up page, as well as some new settings. You might also notice a new, name-only logo. While it’s been clear for a while that Foursquare has been working on a site redesign, only in the past few days have signs started to show that it was coming.

For example, a completely revamped History area showed up a few days ago, one allowing for venues to have categories as well as show which friends you checked-in with at places. The biggest part of the changes currently rolling out is to the sign-up page. Foursquare Adds Facebook “Like” Button to Venue Pages.