Foursquare has unveiled a small update to its Explore feature, but something that could have a bigger impact on how people find things around their community. Today, the location-based service has added a new link icon to its Explore section that enables users to share it with their friends and followers.
By going to foursquare.com/explore on any computer, anyone can do a search about venues, restaurants, bars, attractions, and other assorted places pulled from the service’s database. And although the real value comes from the personalization of the data when you log in, it’s not required. And with over 3 billion check-ins, there is quite a bit of data available.
Earlier this month, Foursquare released an update to its mobile apps that allows users to share a link to a venue out to friends who don’t have Foursquare — this time, it’s the same thing, except for the web browser.
I tested this new feature by searching for bars in San Francisco. Naturally, bars around the area showed up — had I been logged into the site, I would have also viewed which of my Foursquare connections had been to each of the different bars, in addition to being able to show me which venues I’ve perused and those with Foursquare specials.
From here, I can pass along this list of venues to anyone outside of the Foursquare service (think of it like how you would send a link to a Google Map destination). Near the top-left side of the screen, there’s a link button. If you click on it, it will give you an option to simply copy the original link, have it shortened, or post it to Facebook or Twitter.
While this feature isn’t currently available in Foursquare’s mobile apps, it can also be accessed through the mobile browser with every functionality enabled.
By implementing this sharing feature, it appears that this location-based service is definitely moving itself out into the mainstream and beyond just being an app. What’s more, it’s also encouraging non-users to consider using the service because of the opportunity of personalization. Imagine going to Foursquare’s Explore map out of the blue to look up bars in San Francisco — it basically operates like Google Maps. However, when you log in, you get to find out which of your friends have been there and maybe who’s there now, helping you to decide where to go.
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