Foursquare Explores Local Search Open for Everyone
Foursquare announced earlier this week that they will be opening up their local search product to everyone, without any need to sign-up or "check-in". With the enormous amount of information from it's 25,000,000 members, who have combined to leave around 30 million 'tips' and 3 billion 'check-ins, Foursquare offers a great local search service for anyone looking for local venues. It also gives small business owners another reason to get listed, claim their business and get involved.
According to the blog post on Foursquare's site announcing the changes, they also claimed to have started running an experiment (which is presumably what the new open local search product is) aimed at answering the question, "without any check-ins, can we still provide the best local recommendations?"
Foursquare invites you to try out the new search features yourself at http://foursquare.com, and notes, "Even if you've never checked in, Explore still can make great recommendations based on a number of signals, like whats popular in the neighborhood, new places, places that are trending at the moment, where experts go, and whats popular on that day of the week."
What's an expert exactly? According to Andrew Hogue, Foursquare's Head of Search, in an article in Fast Company explains that when looking for places for new Foursquare users, it displays the places that attract experts in that category and used coffee shops as an example. "Explore also tries to determine which users are true connoisseurs--for example, someone who checks into a lot of gourmet coffee shops and writes popular tips--then suggests the venues that tend to attract those experts."Continued on the next page