Foursquare Adds New Feature: Operating Hours
Until today, Foursquare can tell a user a lot about a business, except one thing: operating hours.
The king of location-based services announced on its blog that its venue pages - already rich with valuable user data - will now include when a venue is open and closed.
This is a crucial bit of information for small business owners to get out to their potential customers, and it was a key missing feature of Foursquare's much-ballyhooed "Explore" tab.
I'm a regular at local coffee shops for meetings related to my local digital newspaper, Destination Wake Forest, and knowing when a business is open is as important as knowing whether I should ask for a raisin bagel or a jelly donut.
But before today when I would use the Explore tab in the Foursquare app, I would have to then open up Google search on my iPhone and keep my fingers crossed that there was a Place Page with the hours of operation.
Take the case of two coffee shops in my town: Wake Forest Coffee Company and Daylight Donuts. The former operates in the style of an urban coffeehouse with robust blends, art for sale on the walls, live music, etc. The latter is more a morning joe kind of place. I've visited both, but if I were new in town Foursquare's Explore function couldn't have told me that Wake Forest Coffee Company is open until 9 or 10 p.m. most nights while Daylight Donuts serves mostly mornings and afternoons.
All that has changed now, and every small business should run to Foursquare to make sure they have the right open hours in addition to a properly spelled name and address.