Digital & Social Media

Foursquare Is Making Yelp Yelp

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What Happened: Foursquare is taking on Yelp with its first major overhaul since the app came on the scene five years ago. Say goodbye to the old Foursquare based on finding out where your friends are hanging, and say hello to the new Foursquare that tells you instead the best place to eat dinner or have a drink.

The recently released version of the app looks and feels completely different — including a new flagpole, superhero-themed logo and a new blue-and-pink color scheme. Plus, one very familiar puzzle piece is missing, the check-in, but thanks to a new app that Foursquare is offering called Swarm users can still keep track of their amigos.

By asking users their “tastes” in the new app, Foursquare can provide personalized recommendations based on a users location. The new Foursquare also allows users to follow trusted sources in the media for instance, like TimeOut. Finally, Foursquare users can leave tips about establishments they patronize that feel like a tweet, the opposite of the long-winded reviews made popular by Yelp.

What This Means for Brands: Foursquare’s past interface that enabled users to see where their friends were currently hanging out proved to be less important to users than discovering a good place to hang with them. And Foursquare’s advice goes far beyond where to get a good meal, suggesting also where to find hot nightlife, or great vintage clothing, or the best sightseeing a city has to offer. So this means Foursquare has to be on the radar of every travel, tourism, hospitality or retail establishment that thinks using word-of-mouth is important to generating business — which should mean everybody.

The Foursquare metamorphosis also is yet another reminder that mobile is increasingly the medium of choice today, and if you want to thrive every business — not just Foursquare and those that Foursquare reviews — needs to figure out how to anticipate questions their potential customers need answering and get them answered before they even ask.

Contributing to current TRENDING items are Bram Berkowitz, Natalie Hensley, Chelsea Lowe, Caroline Michelman, Tom Pompei and Daniel J. Sheehan.