Foursquare introduces ‘tips’ lists in recommendation push

Foursquare launches tip lists feature

Foursquare is launching a new ‘tip lists’ feature that allows users and brands to create lists of places they have already checked into, or plan to visit, as the firm moves into recommendations in a bid to improve user engagement with the service and up its revenue generation. The new service lets users create specific groupings of places, such as the top 10 cafes in a particular location, and share those lists with other Foursquare users, as well as via email, Facebook and Twitter. Users can also create group-edited lists, as well as follow lists created by friends.

“Early Foursquare prototypes were all about curating lists of experiences, but we never got around to launching those features,” CEO Dennis Crowley tells Mashable. “Tip lists is executing on what we’ve always wanted to let users do: create lists about the things you know best, share them with friends, team up with friends to curate lists and follow lists created by friends and partners.”

While the feature provides a new source of information for users, enabling them to recommend and share locations, it also offers brands new marketing opportunities. Partners such as MTV and People Magazine have already created lists, such as ‘hot music video locations’ and ‘star-gazing spots’. “With lists, brands, businesses, celebrities and other organisations can easily organise and share their expertise and insights with our millions of users,” says Foursquare’s director of business development, Jonathan Crowley.

Adding lists provides businesses with a further tool to engage with users and could help to attract more companies to the location service. Foursquare has made a number of attempts to attract brands to its service in recent months as it seeks to monetise its growing user base amid increasing competition in the location space. Merchant accounts were the first step, enabling companies to take advantage of customers using Foursquare to check-in to their stores, providing firms with information such as popular times of the day as well as allowing them to offer deals and special offers to people who check-in. The launch of lists will enable Foursquare to combine location, recommendations and daily deals as it seeks to generate significant revenues and hit profitability.

Foursquare has so far signed up 500,000 merchants and its co-founder, Naveen Selvadurai, says the firm is planning to charge for some features. Nevertheless, the firm is yet to reveal a business model, with Selvadurai saying that growing user numbers and developing the service remain the “core focus”. Certainly expansion should remain a top priority for Foursquare as it seeks to maintain momentum and compete with some big-name rivals, such as Google and Facebook, which are also focusing in on the location space.

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