Foursquare took the excuse to celebrate the company recently crossing the 3 billion checkins threshold with its release of “The Best of Foursquare.”
Rather than a guide curated by editors, travel writers or critics, Foursquare’s approach is all based on user experience data. Taking all that checkin data as well as tens of millions of user tips, the company came up with its best of guide “based on where people actually go,” Foursquare explained.
Click a city, and Foursquare serves up the best of food, nightlife, things to do, and even best place to get a saucy burrito. Each restaurant, activity or location is rated on a scale of 1 through 10. Papalote Mexican Grill in San Francisco’s Mission District scored best burrito joint with a 9.4. Each list also includes a link to the business’s Foursquare profile as well as a button to save it to your account.
Data was compiled based on tips, likes, dislikes, popularity, local expertise, and actual check-in location. Foursquare was also able to peg each city according to its own local tastes. Portland is a vegetarian’s dream come true, while Boston is naturally the place to get seafood.
“Since no two cities are the same, each page is customized to help you get a feel for the local flavor,” Foursquare explained on its blog.
The guide approach takes Foursquare from being merely a recreational novelty tool for meeting up with friends to being a crowd-sourced recommendation service, putting the company in competition with Yelp, Facebook’s new Graph Search, and TripAdvisor, at least for hotels and flights.
Now Foursquare just needs a business model to back up all its precious data. Business promotion might make a decent day job. A new business owner app allows for Foursquare checkin activity monitoring, and a recently added feature further allows businesses to better promote events across the service.