Yelp and Google Places have some new competition on the local search front. This week, Foursquare rolled out a new search bar designed to help users sift through local retailers and find the newest kitschy bars with the widest selection of bacon infused liquors. That’s what I will use it for, anyway.
After triumphing over now-defunct GoWalla in the battle for check-in app supremacy, Foursquare seems to be intensely focused on the revenue side of the business… always a good idea. In May, Foursquare announced a plan to get in on the daily deals frenzy.
Now that Foursquare is jumping into the local search market, maybe they’ll combine the two…
The new Foursquare search bar is plastered over a full page map of your area, which definitely entices you to consider finding a place for a lunch meeting or a happy hour. I think it’s a very smart move for a app company with 20M users but no direct plan to sell them anything.
Yelp may have Siri on its side, but Foursquare has a very connected core of users. Foursquare’s challenge is successfully launching an ads business, while attracting new users with attractive new features.
Local search is a way to move closer to both. Let’s face it, checking in is not in itself enough of a reason to use an app — for the vast majority of social users, checking in is something you do while you’re already on Facebook. Maybe I’m wrong here, do you use Foursquare? Or just FB? Or do you even really feel the need to check in at all?
By using your own check-ins, friends’ check-ins, and recommendations to rank local businesses you may like — as well as serving you relevant ads, Foursquare is killing two birds with one search function.