Get flash to fully experience Pearltrees
Click image to enlarge. In honor of Thanksgiving travel, Foursquare has posted an infographic on the company's blog showing checkins related to travel in the United States by plane, train, and automobile, covering a period from Halloween until just after Christmas in 2010. For airplane and train travel, data is pulled when someone checks in on Foursqure at two different airports or train stations in the same day. Automobile traffic, according to the graphic, is based on checkins on highways and roads, which sounds more ambiguous and harder to correlate specifically to travel, but it does show quite neatly the major interstates across the United States. There's also a timeline component showing the peaks and lulls of travel around Thanksgiving and Christmas, some of the busiest travel times of the year. The timeline shows a greater spike in travel right before Thanksgiving than before Christmas.
Foursquare has been working towards monetising their app by planning to introduce paid search ads in June, and to a lesser extent, their instant verification service. So it’s come up with another way of generating revenue without inconveniencing its users: Personalised coupons. The Wall Street Journal reports that Foursquare will allow merchants to buy special placement for promotions of personalised local offers in July in a redesigned version of its app. All users will be able to see the specials, but must check-in to the venue to redeem them. While it already offers specials for users, this is the first time that the company will charge merchants for this so that when users discover a new place or location in Foursquare’s Explore feature, merchants will get a chance to highlight their offer for users.
Whenever a trendy app comes along, there are people who ask, “What is the point of this?” If millions of people are using something, there has to be a reason. In our What Is the Point of... series, we’ll explain it to you. This week, we're asking, What is the point of Foursquare ?
Foursquare has been pretty busy lately and is bringing more features to us that make dining out a simple and seamless experience. I’ve noted in the past that I’m now using the foursquare “Explore” feature to find restaurants and bars far more than I’m using Yelp. That could mean bad news for Yelp if that trend holds true for anyone else. Today, the company announced a new partnership with OpenTable that will let you make reservations right from the desktop version of the site:
Foursquare is enhancing its feature set for businesses today, with the introduction of a new verification service for merchants. The company says that for a one-time, $10 fee, owners and managers will now be able to instantly verify their business in order to start using Foursquare’s business tools, which include the ability to offer specials, update the business listing, and access data about their customers and visitors. For those businesses that can’t register online, there’s still an option to verify the business via snail mail, but this is a much slower method. Foursquare says the mail-in option can take anywhere from three to four weeks to complete. In today’s age of instant gratification, that may as well be forever .
Less than a week after unveiling the Explore section of its website, Foursquare announced a nice addition — restaurant menus. The Foursquare mobile app has included an “Explore” tab for while now, but last week’s announcement marked its expansion into a full-blown city guide, personalized based on your check ins and those of your friends. Foursquare called it a “big leap” toward its vision of “adding an ‘interesting’ layer to your whole world,” while TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis suggested it was a return to CEO Dennis Crowley’s roots as a product manager at mobile city guide Vindigo. Now, Foursquare says it has partnered with startup SinglePlatform to add menus and pricing information for almost 250,000 restaurants in Explore. This seems like a pretty natural addition, and a way to make Explore a viable alternative to a site like Yelp. (It seems only appropriate that Foursquare is becoming more Yelp-like, since Yelp took a page from Foursquare by adding user check ins .)
Foursquare has added an ‘Explore’ function to its website, which effectively turns its billions of check-ins into a social search engine. Data from 1.5bn check-ins is now available in the form of local recommendations when users search for a service in a particular town via their computer. The Explore function has been available on Foursquare's mobile app since March. In a blog post the company said simply that this was designed to “help us personalise recommendations for you.”