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Foursquare Changes: What It Means For You

Foursquare Gets a Facelift

Not long ago, I blogged about my mixed feelings about Foursquare. I saw it as a fun diversion, but not much more. What’s the big deal about getting points and earning badges for checking in at new places? What was the point of all the points?

The next day I was contacted by the Foursquare PR team who invited me to their fabulous SoHo offices to hear about the soon-to-come changes at the location-based social network.

Lo and behold, three years after launching (and 20 million users later), Foursquare announced today that they “tore apart the app and rebuilt it anew to create the all-new foursquare!”

How exactly is the new Foursquare different from the old Foursquare?

Instead of focusing on checking in at places, the new Foursquare is more about discovering new places. The idea is to help “you and your friends make the most out of where you are,” according to Foursquare. The company has updated the app’s Explore function and made it the central feature.

In some ways, the new Foursquare is more like Facebook in that users will be able to “like” and comment on friends’ activities. Like Facebook, there be a newsfeed featuring oversized photos, friends lists, and profiles (in this case, featuring your stats, tips, lists, and badges).

Foursquare will provide customized local search results, so that if you want to find out where the best latte is, Foursquare will offer up recommendations based on your friends’ suggestion, what cafes you’ve been to before, what time it is, and where your friends are, as as well as which places are offering discounts or promotions.

There will be other features too. You’ll be able to “surf” through your history on a new profile tab, read reviews, or check out menus at your favorite restaurants. You can even call and make reservations directly through the app.

The new Foursquare began rolling out on iPhone and Android today, and a BlackBerry update will be available in a few weeks.

I can already tell I’m going to like the new Foursquare better. I’ll probably use it less to check in and more to discover new places–whether I’m in my neighborhood or on the road.

Will you check out the new Foursquare?

Follow Paula on Twitter

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