The network is now more focused on allowing users to tailor the network to their personal preferences, which, conveniently, opens new opportunities for brands.
After relegating check-ins to a different app in May, Foursquare debuted a redesign of its core functionality on August 6 that instead focuses on social search.
And this, in turn, should open additional opportunities for brands to reach consumers on the network, insiders say.
Foursquare users have always left tips about everything from menu recommendations to free WiFi codes. In its current incarnation, those tips can be liked and saved, earning those who leave them expert status. Users can become experts not only at specific venues, but in neighborhoods and categories.
“Tips are the atomic currency now, not check-ins,” explains Noah Weiss, vice president of product management at Foursquare.
Once someone has achieved expert status, their tips will be marked higher up, reaching more people. Users can also look at tipsters’ profiles and see their other tips and areas of expertise. The idea behind the redesign is to let everyone tailor Foursquare to their own personal preferences.
“We all have different tastes. Maybe you’re a vegetarian and I like steak. So why do we all get the same search results on Yelp and Google?” Weiss asks. “We wanted to make it easy for people when they look at tips to say, ‘How reputable is this person?”
Another new aspect of Foursquare 8.0 is that it will be constantly searching for recommendations, based on users' tastes, tips and trusted experts. Though the Swarm app has never taken off in popularity — it's been rated 4,087 times in Apple's AppStore, with an average rating of a star and a half — experts say the new features could help get Foursquare back in many users' good graces.
Tessa Wegert, communications director at digital agency Enlighten, believes that with increased engagement, Foursquare 8.0 will go over well.
“Whether they're bloggers or Goodreads book reviewers or frequent posters to Yelp, people are eager to show what they know,” Wegert says. “I think it's about cementing their identity while also displaying their social media savvy.”
A surge in popularity will mean extra opportunity for companies to use Foursquare as a marketing tool.
More than 1.9 million businesses already do. One of those businesses, frozen yogurt chain Tasti D-Lite, awards users points for each check-in. Another, the Corcoran Group, writes frequent tips, branding itself as a trusted expert in the New York neighborhoods where it sells and rents real estate.
“People use it as an organic marketing tool, promoting dishes and specials,” Weiss says. “If anything, this is just going to be even more people they can reach. This is the perfect context for a business to reach them.”
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!
Before joining the ClickZ team, Mike O'Brien was a reporter for newspapers in Brooklyn and Eugene, Oregon, where he earned a Master's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. Having also worked in newspaper sales, Mike enjoys writing about marketing and advertising much more than selling it.
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
June 10, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT