Foursquare is rolling out an update to its Android app (followed by its iOS app in the coming months) that will offer users location-based recommendations through push notifications, even if they haven’t checked-in anywhere.
The app will now give users tips about interesting locations nearby, even if the app isn’t open. Check-ins will continue as normal, but even if hey haven’t chosen to check-in nearby, it’s possible that the app will offer users recommendations based on the 4 billion check-ins and 32 million tips already submitted to Foursquare.
It’s somewhat reminiscent of Google Now, but focused specifically on the check-in data and tips uploaded by users and businesses to Foursquare. The company is also promising that these additional features – the app will be monitoring the background location of each user at all times – won’t dramatically affect the battery life either.
“From our internal tests on a bunch of phones, it only increases drain about 0.7 percent per hour, or, over the course of a day, the equivalent of about a 20-minute game of Angry Birds,” the company said in a blog post.
Foursquare has given some examples of how this might work; when sitting down for dinner in a new restaurant, the app will suggest a popular dish on the menu. Likewise, when a user enters a new city for the first time, the app might recommend some of the best places to visit.
An immediate concern is that Foursquare will bombard users with tips advice that is either poor or at a time when they don’t want to read them. By leveraging the billions of check-ins already logged through the app though, Foursquare says the app will be smart enough to know when to stay out of your way.
Recommendations will therefore come through when a trusted friend has already submitted a tip (rather than a complete stranger). These nuggets of wisdom will also pop up when users are actively looking for somewhere new to eat, drink or socialize, rather than when they’re busy commuting or working in the office.
The update is rolling out to “thousands of Android users” today, before being made available to all Android and iOS users in the next few months.
➤ Foursquare (blog post)