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Foursquare’s relaunch: what your biz needs to do immediately

(Tech News) Foursquare has gone from check-in masters to a discovery engine with two separate apps: Swarm to find people and Foursquare to find places using your preferences as a filter.

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Foursquare has come a long way

Foursquare began as a game, where you earned points every time you checked-in. In fact, they were the original founders of the mobile check-in. But now the app famous for telling everyone your current geographic position is relaunching as a discovery engine, paired with the new app Swarm.

You can still check-in with Foursquare, but you will need Swarm installed as well. Once you download the new update (available for iOS and Android), you will see a list of categories; these are in place so the app(s) can help you find what you are interested in. When you start selecting your preferences, the app will begin to structure itself around these preferences. If you are not seeing what you like, clicking the Foursquare logo will allow you to provide additional details.

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So why is Foursquare asking you what you like? If you’re looking for a restaurant and have previously told Foursquare you like baklava, grape leaves, and fine Merlot, you will probably see Lebanese, Greek, and Turkish restaurants at the top of your list. The more you select your specific likes and dislike, the more it will “learn.”

Previously, Foursquare did little more than give your location to a group of people you may or may not know. Now, Foursquare/Swarm has the potential to be useful and intuitive. You will see Foursquare is useful for searching places, whereas, Swarm will help you find people. After you first launch, or relaunch the app after updating, you may feel like you are being bombarded with information. You can use the slider tabs to find what you need, quickly, but it does take some getting used to. Each tab can be further refined by descriptive tags and “tips.” letting you find exactly what you fancy, based on other people’s experiences with the location.

The updates have an impact on your business

Here’s what is important for businesses, in my opinion, you can now visit a tab called “here” to find out what is near your location. This is akin to the traditional Foursquare “check-in” but more advanced because of ratings, tips, and tags. Businesses are going to want to visit their own pages regularly, to ensure their page tags remain relevant so that the appropriate audiences will be able to find them when they need to.

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Also, ensuring your business is on the map and properly labeled is important, since the Foursquare/Swarm merge could present some errors. Remember that points system I mentioned earlier, it is back with tips. For leaving a “tip,” the user is rewarded and recognized. This could keep people using Foursquare/Swarm more frequently, so you will definitely want to double-check your information.

Regardless of whether you find Foursquare to be relevant or not, it has the potential to become a useful app, especially when looking for a new place or person. Double-check your information and make sure everything is current because you never know who may find you via a “check-in.”

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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