Earlier this week Foursquare rolled out a revamped version of its website, which I (as the resident Foursquare geek) consider rather exciting.

The evolution of Foursquare over the past year or so has seen users expand on simply ‘checking in’ to sharing valuable tips and experiences with fellow users, which in my humble opinion, has been a really useful transition.

Naturally, the Foursquare mobile application is the at the forefront of user activity, as any location based service should be, and it’s the mobile application which has seen the most progression since Foursquare launched back in 2009.

However, with more emphasis now on discovery and ‘tips’, the website is finally getting some deserved attention. A company representative blogged; “though we spend a lot of time improving the app for your phone, we know that sometimes the best place to do those things is when you’re visiting the website from your computer.”

So what’s changed?

The first thing you’ll notice when you visit foursquare.com is a large map at the top of your screen, which expands when clicked on. This map shows you interesting things that are happening around you; where your friends last checked in, popular places, trending places, listed places and places that offer ‘specials’.

Much like Google maps, you can zoom in and out also drag the map around to find popular places in other locations.

To help you discover new places, Foursquare will also serve up suggestions based on your location, friend activity and even time of day. Like so;

fs1

And if I drag my map up the coast a few miles to Ipswich, I’m presented with suggestions based on local establishments endorsed by my Ipswich-based friends. Nice.

fs2

I took these screen shots at 4:04pm, and as you can see, I’m being fed suggestions for places that I might be interested in visiting for dinner, or maybe a post-work beer. As I understand it, if you check the map at 11am, for example, Foursquare will offer suggestions for lunch spots. You get the idea.

Another new discovery feature is List Discovery, which lets you search for lists in any given location, and also presents lists to you based on your current location. According to Foursquare, “Now, before going on a trip, you can search for the best restaurants or sightseeing spots in that city, or just find some great new stuff to do in your own city.”

You can read more about Foursquare lists here.

As well as the nice new discovery features, there’s a number of other notable updates;

  • You can now comment (and see comments) on the homepage
  • Foursquare now recommends brands/celebs you may like to follow, on the homepage, if that’s your thing
  • When your friend checks out your check-in details, it now shows your points (apparently a much requested feature)
  • New site looks ace on iPad
  • Improved photos (bigger and prettier)

One thing that seems to have been overlooked, in my opinion, is the option for users to filter different types of establishments in certain locations within the homepage map; it would be useful to only view popular pubs in Colchester, for example. But perhaps that’ one for the future.

All in all I think Foursquare has done a great job here and I’m pleased to see the company evolving in the way it is. Nice work.