Look Out Yelp: Foursquare Brings Discovery Tools and Recommendations to the Web

Foursquare just revamped its website, which now offers list discovery to help you find things you might be interested in doing, and features a map on the home page that lets users see nearby friends, trending places and more.

The addition of new discovery features is yet another direct challenge to Yelp. In August, Foursquare added lists, which is similar to Yelp's to-do list feature on its website. On the other hand, Yelp added check-ins in January 2010 to put the company in the same playing field as Foursquare and Gowalla. 

"As foursquare has evolved, the focus has turned from simply ‘checking in’ to sharing our experiences and expertise, unlocking rewards and deals, and exploring the world around us," the Foursquare blog states. "And, though we spend a lot of time improving the app for your phone, we know that sometimes the best place to do those things is when you’re visiting the website from your computer."

Foursquare now also offers recommendations given the time of day. For example, Foursquare suggested one of our editor's visit Bluebird Cafe, The Point or Native Foods Cafe for the lunch hour. Other improvements include the ability to comment and see comments from the homepage, the ability to see a user's points in the check-in detail screen and revamped places pages.

"With easier navigation, even more photos & comments, and clearer venue details to interactive maps, venue recommendations and list discovery we hope thatfoursquare.com becomes the destination site for people looking to keep up with their friends, discover what’s nearby, save money and unlock rewards," Foursquare Lead Designer for the Web Sam Brown writes on his blog.

At the Web 2.0 conference in October, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley hinted at ditching check-ins and focusing more on Radar, a feature that tells you if you're near a location on a list that you follow. However, check-ins still remain and in 2010, Foursquare processed 380M+ check-ins.

Foursquare has 10M registered users but won't disclose unique monthly visitors, while Yelp has 50M unique monthly users, according to April statistics.

New York-based Foursquare, founded in 2009 by Dennis and Naveen Selvadurai, has raised $71.4M to date from investors including Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Kevin Rose.  


Recommendations are based off of what places your friends have visited before.

The new List Discovery tool gives users both search and visual recommendations.


Dennis Crowley, Co-founder
Twitter: @dens  
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dpstyles 
Google+: https://plus.google.com/118264184129842070900/posts 

Naveen Selvadurai, Co-founder
Twitter: @naveen 
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/naveen
Google+: https://plus.google.com/106598937686865040124/posts