It’s been about two years since Foursquare launched, and at SXSW 2011 they launched the new and improved 4sq3. It add’s a revamped leaderboard, recommendations and much much more, and definetely makes the service less of a “game” and more of a interactive location based service. They’ve tied up with more partners, so you now have the opportunity to get more freebies, more badges and also find new places and events.
To help you find new places, they’ve added a new “Explore” tab. Here’s what it looks like, and what they have to say about it:
“You’ll see our first pass at this in foursquare 3.0′s new “Explore” tab. The idea is pretty simple: tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll help you find something nearby. The suggestions are based on a little bit of everything – the places you’ve been, the places your friends have visited, your loyalty to your favorite places, the categories and types of places you gravitate towards, what’s popular with other users, the day of the week, places with great tips, the time of day, and so on. We’ll even tell you why we think you should visit a certain place (e.g. popular with friends, similar to your favorite spots). You’ll find it’s helpful for general things like “food”, “coffee”, “nightlife” (we built in quick access to these searches) and you’ll be surprised by what you get when searching for really specific things, like “80s music,” “fireplaces,” “pancakes,” “bratwurst,” and “romantic.” The more random you get, the more interesting the results get”
They’ve also revamped the leaderboard, from the old points for checkins to the new system based on how you use foursquare:
“Today’s major overhaul to the leaderboard is a big step in the evolution of that original idea. You’ll see that we’ve replaced our old leaderboard (and its simple points system and Sunday night reset) with a sliding 7-day barometer of you and your friends. Check-ins now trigger points for dozens of different types of actions – everything from discovering new places, trying new types of restaurants, visiting new cities, getting groups together, hanging out with old friends, and a few things you might not expect.”
Last up is the new specials, which basically shows you all the businesses around your current location that have special offers for foursquare users:
“Over the past two years, many of you watched as we experimented with local merchants all over the world, working with them to build tools that redefine customer loyalty. What started with a disagreement over who spent more time at our neighborhood coffee shop (hence, the “Mayor”), quickly evolved into local merchants rewarding foursquare Mayors with special treatment (discounts and freebies, the power to cut the line, and even ordering off a special menu). As foursquare has grown, though, it’s become harder to both hold down Mayorships and win back the ones you’ve lost. We’ve long wanted to move beyond that and give merchants more ways to reward loyal customers. So, later this week, we’re rolling out six new types of foursquare Specials for merchants. Business will now be able to offer Specials to swarms, groups of friends, regulars, newbies, Mayors, or simply to everyone. And, on the Places screen in the app, you’ll now see a list of all the Specials nearby, so it’s easier to find places that reward foursquare users. With over a quarter million businesses verified on foursquare, these new tools will mean more rewards for users everywhere in the world.”
You can read the full post over at the Foursquare Blog, it’s a pretty long one! The new version is available now for iOS and Android. Grab your iOS version from the App Store, here, or scan the QR Code below.
Android users, download it from Android Market here, or scan the code below:
Blackberry users will get an update sometime this week, but it won’t have all the features of the new foursquare (just yet). As for symbian and Windows Phone 7 users:
“P.P.S. Lots of you have been asking in the comments about Symbian and WP7. We’re working hard to make sure that foursquare 3.0 is available on all platforms, and will have updates as soon as we can.”
So get to it. Go download the update, and if you’re not on Foursquare yet, Sign up now!