New Foursquare app takes a crack at local search

Foursquare reported August 7 US time (early hours of August 8 Singapore time) that 15 million ‘tastes’ had been added around the world in the first 18 hours of the launch of the new Foursquare app.

The new Foursquare app is nothing like the old Foursquare app. Foursquare used to be known for ‘checking in’, where users would broadcast their locations on social networks, and be rewarded for checking in the most often. Those who had visited a Foursquare location more times than others on Foursquare would be named ‘mayor’, and often accorded special privileges by Foursquare.

This changed in late July. Foursquare is now about local recommendations and competes with local recommendation sites like Burpple, InSing, Hungrygowhere, or even Yelp or Google. The location function has been moved to another app called Swarm and ‘tastes’, or personal preferences, are what powers the new Foursquare.

“…each one helps power better recommendations. After all, everyone’s tastes are different, so why should we get the same search results?” notes a blog post by Foursquare commenting about tastes.

According to the company, popular tastes include ‘healthy food’, ‘good for dates’, ‘fried chicken’, and ‘live music’, while more unusual ones included ‘banana chocolate chip’, ‘hot wing pizza,’ ‘early bird menu’, ‘spicy mango,’ and ‘fancy ice cubes’.

According to the company, there are already over 25,000 tastes in their database. “Everybody has different tastes, and so everyone should have a different experience in Foursquare,” they say in the blog.

The new Foursquare can be downloaded here. It is available for Android and iOS, and has received positive reviews from US media such as Mashable, which called it ‘surprisingly good’,  Fast Company however notes that the app will track your location even when it is closed.