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From Check-Ins To Recommendations: A Glimpse Into The Future of Foursquare

From Check-Ins To Recommendations: A Glimpse Into The Future of Foursquare

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Apr 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Rip Empson 3 hours agoToday, at theWhere 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara, man-about-townRobert Scoble spoke with Foursquare Co-founderDennis Crowley about future plans for the hot location-based service.According to Crowley, the future of Foursquare isgoing to focus squarely on what its users are
 to do, not what they
doing. See what I did
there? It’s all well and good to track the realtime
movements of its more than8 million users,but the startup wants to make use of the loads of data
it’s collected on these realtime movements (600
million check-ins) to help users plan what theyshould do next.Foursquare gave its users a brief glimpse of this initsExplore tab,which it introduced last month. The Explore tab allows you to tell Foursquare
what you’re looki
ng for, be it a restaurant or movie theater, and the app will help you find theclosest alternative
 basically it’s a Foursquare recommendation engine. It bases its recs onwhere you’ve checked in, where your friends have checked
-in, your loyalty stats, and so on.Interestingly, Crowley specifically mentionedDitto 
as something he’s intrigued by. Ditto is an
app that goes beyond the present check-in to give recommendations to users and help them plan
something to do in the future. It’s pretty cool — 
“Future check 
ins are one of these things we’ve wanted to do for a while. We’ve been focused on
the present tense; we have just gotten
Foursquare has been almost laser-focused for thelast few years on the so-called present tense, and some were beginning to wonder when thecompany would lay out its innovative future roadmap for check-ins and location-based services.Or would its merchant platform become the true future focus? He also expects future check-ins to become more automated and quick, as the service willbecome more notification-oriented than focused on check-ins. At a Girls in Tech event last night,Crowley said that he imagines the future of Foursquare to have a feel akin to Clippy
once-famous office assistant. He envisions a Foursquare that is
“listening for what’s going onaround you … you’re walking down the street and normally you eat lunch, but you haven’t yet. And Foursquare will tell you that you’re close to a sandwich place you read about in the New
York Times three weeks
ago. And that’s what you want to try.”
 To make future check-ins more automatic, Crowley said that the company is looking to build in
 background location, so that it naturally recognizes where you are and doesn’t require you to do
it yourself. A daunting task, to be sure, but one that could help push Foursquare well beyond thegrowing competition from the likes of Facebook and Google, among others. The co-founder saidthat he believed Foursquare was well positioned in respect to its competitors because it is
focused “on the relationship between people and places”, which in turn has led it to avoid
moving into check-ins in TV shows and other entertainment media.So, in the end it seems that the story of check-ins is just beginning to unfold, and Foursquareplans to be near the front of the pack.
And, hey, if you’re an engineer looking for a new opportunity, look no further than Foursquare.
Crowley said this morning,
“Foursquare has offices in New York and San Francisco and can’t hire engineers fast enough.”

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