Square believes it can trump Foursquare in the local recommendations game (Original)
Square collects a lot of store info by virtue of its payment business, so you'd think it would be great at recommending where to shop. And you may soon be right, according to the company's Ajit Varma. While he doesn't have a schedule, he tells The Verge that Square will eventually customize its directory to suggest hot or newly opened stores based on our spending habits. Varma even believes that his company could beat Foursquare in the local recommendations field, and it's easy to see why when Square knows that we're willing to buy, not just that we've entered a given store. Of course, this is all contingent on both a ubiquitous Square presence and consumerist intentions. Foursquare is entirely willing to point us to both free landmarks as well as stores without Square readers, so it's doubtful that the two services will ever completely overlap.
Source: The Verge…
Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley: All Our Numbers Are Up 10-30% Each Month (Original)
Today at Disrupt NY 2013, Foursquare founder and CEO Dennis Crowley denied rumors that growth was stagnant for Foursquare. “I think there’s a little bit of perception that we’re not growing,” Crowley said. ”This is false.” In reality, March 2013 was the best month to date.
When it comes to growth numbers, Crowley started by saying that “[they] don’t talk about growth numbers so much.” But Foursquare tracks the number of active users, monthly sign-ups, check-ins, web visitors, etc. “All of these numbers are up 10-30 percent,” Crowley said.
Yet, Crowley was very candid about the situation the company is in right now. “We’re not the shiny new thing anymore,” he said. The company is currently trying to become the main location tech company and turn into a recommendation app for restaurants, bars, etc.
“A lot of people understand what we’re trying to do, being the location layer on the Internet, but there are a lot of people that don’t,” Crowley said. “People are still skeptical,” he continued.
“We are like that company that quietly pushes out big enhancements,” Crowley said. The company just wants to focus on improving the product and generating revenue, even if Foursquare receives negative thoughts from time to time.…
Dennis Crowley Says That Foursquare’s API Is Currently Underutilized, Apps That Use Its Location Data Are Smarter (Original)
During our Disrupt event today, New York City company Foursquare’s co-founder Dennis Crowley spoke about how people are talking about the company these days. One of the interesting things about the company is its strategy to be the “location layer” of the Internet. For four years, the company has been trapping all of this location data, tips and social graph information.
On its location data, Crowley said that the company is generating all of this information that will be important moving forward, like finding all of the interesting places on say, a Monday morning in New York City. These are the bits of data that Foursquare has just started leveraging in its own app and it’s only going to get better.
Crowley says that its API is underutilized by partners and people aren’t “leaning” on them as much as they could be, as of yet. He says that in the next year you’ll see more apps that use Foursquare’s location data get smarter about the world around it. This means that the company has a lot more evangelism to do to educate companies on how their data is best used. I can’t think of many services that do a really good job of it right now.…
Foursquare Redesigns Its Venue Pages For The Web To Capitalize On Its 50M Monthly Unique Visitors (Original)
Foursquare today launched redesigned venue pages to focus on its Explore and Discover functionality, bringing them more in line with its homepage. The changes, which come two weeks after the company raised another round of funding and released an updated iOS app, are designed to capitalize on the traffic that Foursquare gets from Google, which has doubled the site’s traffic over the past year. This is an important play for Foursquare, as it’s competing with Google Local, Yelp and Facebook, which today launched its redesign for local business pages.
Foursquare’s lead engineer for the web, Mike Singleton, told me that the site now gets over 50 million unique visitors on the web, which is 17 million more than actually use its app. That means that Foursquare is quietly breaking through as a place for information about venues, its most prized asset:
People are coming from Google for different reasons, we needed to give them the information they needed at a glance, which was difficult.
Since focusing on its Explore functionality, Singleton says that its usage has doubled, especially on the website. The new venue page has all of the information that people need in a quick glance, the pages are more visually appealing, and owners of the venues should be proud to show them off, perhaps by linking to them on their website over competitors like Yelp.…
Foursquare’s New $41M Round Helps It Delay Tricky Questions About Its Valuation (Original)
Foursquare, the social, location-based check-in app that has been pivoting into becoming a more of platform for local search, has finally closed a new round of funding. Foursquare tells TechCrunch that it is $41 million, led by Silver Lake Partners in the form of a multi-year loan from the Silver Lake Waterman growth debt fund; and convertible debt from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and Spark Capital. It takes the total raised in the company to an eye-watering $112.4 million.
(Update: Earlier I’d described this as a Series D, but as this is based on debt and not new shares I’ve changed the wording. Separately, CEO Dennis Crowley has now posted an announcement on the Foursquare blog, which also includes updated usage numbers: 33 million users, 3.5 billion check-ins and 1.3 million businesses using the service. Fred Wilson also blogs about the deal and the virtues of late-stage convertible debt.)
The news was first reported by BusinessWeek, and puts to rest speculation that has been swirling for over a year about how the company needed to raise money to avoid running out of cash; and questions over whether it would be able to do so because of lingering skepticism about its business model.…
Foursquare’s New Game: Predicting Your Future (Original)
Foursquare 6.0 is all about trying to tell you where to go, rather than listening to where you are.…
Foursquare 6.0 for iOS shifts the focus to exploration with a new home screen (Original)
Those who've had the redesigned Foursquare for Android are familiar with the app's greater priority on exploring local haunts; it's the iOS' users' turn now that Foursquare 6.0 is here. The update puts the Explore search box and map right on the main page, helping socialites quickly find out what's going on nearby. The remake also splits up activity, emphasizing closer check-ins and what's hot in one space while keeping recommendations and more distant goings-on in another section. Foursquare's refresh isn't a complete revolution, but it puts the app's two main platforms on the same page -- and shows how check-ins have become just one part of a larger whole.
Via: Foursquare Blog
Source: App Store…
Foursquare’s Upcoming iOS Release Is A Pivotal Moment For The Company, As In It’s “Now Or Never” (Original)
We all know the Foursquare story quite well: The app launched at SXSW five years ago, and a fair amount of people have been using it to check-in ever since. The company is releasing a new version of its flagship iOS app, which will put those 3.5 billion check-ins in the forefront with search and explore functionality. It’s a move that we saw coming ever since they did practically the same thing on their website back in October.
Having just made it easier to check-in on the app, Foursquare now wants you to dive head first into locations around you, hopefully using the app to help you decide where to go next. The moves come off as a bit manic, even though it’s clear that the company has a ton of information and just desperately wants users to start interacting with it.
The new app, which will be available sometime Wednesday morning, is now split up into four parts. The search box is at the top of the screen, and a map of your nearby friends is below. These main areas are followed by personalized recommendations for this particular moment in time, and then, of course, there’s the check-in button at the bottom.…
Check In, Flame Out: How To Save Foursquare (Original)
This hasn’t been a great year for Foursquare. “Check-ins are no longer what they used to be,” as Ingrid Lunden observed last month. There seems to be a general consensus that “Foursquare keeps resembling Yelp more and more…” but that comparison isn’t necessarily flattering, especially since there’s little doubt that Yelp has much greater public mindshare.
Then former Square COO and current Khosla Ventures partner Keith Rabois attacked them publicly (click through for the article’s amusing corrections, if nothing else!) prompting some bizarre musing from Michael Lazerow on when it’s OK for someone like Rabois to bash a founder.
(My answer, for what it’s worth: whenever he freaking feels like it. He’s not the Pope. He’s not the President. He’s just a venture capitalist. If you’re worried about public criticism hurting a company, then it’s built on apparent rather than real value and it deserves all the criticism it can get.)
Crowley responded, gamely:
Great tone…but I don’t know about that content. So the mighty check-in was just what filters were for Instagram, a gateway drug, to soon be replaced by “the location layer for the Internet?” Uh-huh.…
Foursquare’s API Is A Pillar Of The Mobile App Ecosystem (Original)
Foursquare has become entrenched in the fabric of the local web, providing an API that delivers common good for developers. Any destabilization in Foursquare or its developer tools would fundamentally affect the stability of the mobile web.
Now I’m not suggesting that they are so important to the U.S. economy that Ben Bernanke and the Fed should step in to participate in Foursquare’s rumored Series D. However, I do think that Keith Rabois’ comment about Foursquare having a small user base firmly misses the point. Even among all the lovers and haters duking it out on Twitter, no one stopped to consider what the sheer size of Foursquare’s developer base means for the industry.
Dennis Crowley said at the Mobile World Congress that 40,000 developers use Foursquare location data via their API. Let’s examine the effect on Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Foodspotting and many other apps if Foursquare and its API were to no longer exist.
The App Ecosystem
Pick up your smartphone. Search through some of your favorite apps.…