Foursquare's iOS update focuses on local search, recommendations over check-ins
Foursquare is rolling out a new version of its mobile social networking application for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, further emphasizing local search and recommendation features over its signature check-in model.
The revamped Foursquare 6.0 shifts the Explore feature--which highlights nearby points of interest based on the user's check-in history and their friends' foursquare activity, complete with consumer reviews and merchant offers--from a separate tab at the bottom of the device screen to the top of the navigation bar. An overhauled auto-complete search engine delivers speedier local business and entertainment results than previous foursquare incarnations, and a retooled friends feed now includes recommendations, trending destinations and nearby contacts.
With the redesign, foursquare's check-in button transitions to the bottom of the screen. Other lesser-used features previously included in the app's Me tab are now stored in a drawer that slides out from the left side of the screen.
The iOS overhaul signals the latest step in foursquare's efforts to monetize its platform in partnership with local businesses. In mid-2012, the startup rolled out Promoted Updates, spotlighting deals from nearby merchants. Retailers and restaurants pay foursquare only when consumers check into their business, unlock a special or otherwise interact with their promotion.
Foursquare for Business followed earlier this year. The standalone iOS app enables merchant partners to post photo updates, manage specials and offers and monitor analytics.
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